Would the themes of "The Lottery" need to be altered if the story had been written in 2010?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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With the exception of one theme, that of gender roles, Shirley Jackson's themes are so universal that placing her story, "The Lottery," in the twenty-first century would not affect the narrative. For, the themes of the inherent violence in human beings, the propensity of humans to victimize others, and the blind adherence to tradition or ritual are timeless.

In an essay about "The Lottery," Jennifer Hicks writes of the modern relevancy of Jackson's story,

Jackson wrote "The Lottery" in 1948—before gang violence, teen suicides, the threat of nuclear war, and handgun crimes reached epidemic proportions. Was Jackson looking into the future of the American society?

For, in a sense "The Lottery" is like a fable, symbolic of many social ills that plague modern society.  Certainly, finding a scapegoat for one's unethical and immoral behavior is more relevant nowadays than in 1948 as verified by the frivolous lawsuits of today. And, certainly, the penchant and delight in violence is more prevalent in the twentieth century than ever as verified by the multitude of video games, movies, and television shows that have been popular in the current century.

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