Project #77222 - Summarize it with (1/2 page to 1 page typed)

A good harvest has always been vital to civilizations. After the fields have been prepared and the seeds sown, the farmer can only wait and hope that the proper balance of rain and sun will ensure a good harvest. From this hope springs ritual. Many ancient cultures believed that growing crops represented the life cycle, beginning with what one associates with the end-death. Seeds buried, apparently without hope of germination, represent death. But with the life forces of water and the sun, the seed grows, representing rebirth. Consequently, ancient peoples began sacrificial rituals to emulate this resurrection cycle. What began as a vegetation ritual developed into a cathartic cleansing of an entire tribe or village. By transferring one's sins to persons or animals and then sacrificing them, people believed that their sins would be eliminated, a process that has been termed the "scapegoat" archetype (Guerin et al. 158). In her short story "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson uses this archetype to build on man's inherent need for such ritual.

Jackson weaves seasonal and life-death cycle archetypes, which coincide with vegetation rituals, into the story. According to. Carl Jung, archetypes can be considered "complexes of experience that come upon us like fate" (30), a past collective experience represented in rituals, symbols, and motifs. The lottery takes place every year when the nature cycle peaks in midsummer, a time usually associated with cheerfulness. Mr. Summers, a jovial man who conducts the lottery ceremony, sets the tone of the event with both his name and his mannerisms. But lurking behind him, Mr. Graves quietly assists, his name hinting at a dark undertone. The picniclike atmosphere betrays the serious consequence of the lottery, for like the seed, a sacrificial person must also be buried to bring forth life. Jackson creates balance by juxtaposing Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves to share in the responsibilities of the ritual: Life brings death, and death recycles life.

At one point in the village's history, the lottery represented a grave experience, and all who participated understood the profound meaning of the tradition. But as time passed, the villagers began to take the ritual lightly. They endure it almost as automatons-"actors" anxious to return to their mundane, workaday lives (Jackson 76). Old Man Warner, the only one who seems to recall the seriousness of the occasion, complains that Mr. Summers jokes with everybody (77). But why do the villagers cling to tradition when they no longer find meaning in the ritual? Jung posits that even if one does not understand the meaning, the experience provides the "individual a place and a meaning in the life of the generations" (188). Because there has "always been a lottery" (Jackson 77), the villagers feel compelled to continue this horrifying tradition. They do focus, however, on its gruesome rather than its symbolic nature, for they "still remembered to use stones" even after they have "forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box" (79). The story thus takes the stance that humanity's inclination toward violence overshadows society's need for civilized traditions.

"The Lottery" first appeared in The New Yorker in 1948. Subsequently, distraught readers-uncomfortable with the idea of a relatively modern culture committing such a heinous act-questioned Jackson's intentions. She responded that she wanted to dramatize graphically the "pointless violence" in people's lives (Friedman 64), to reveal the general inhumanity of man. Jung's view is that even "more or less civilized" people remain inwardly primitive (269). When no recollection of a ritual's symbolism exists, the "mass psyche" becomes the "hypnotic focus of fascination, drawing everyone under its spell" (127). The group experience, then, lowers the "level of consciousness J. . .] like the psyche of an animal" (125). Therefore, the base actions exhibited in groups (such as the stoning of Mrs. Hutchinson) do not take place on the individual level, for here such action would be deemed "murder." On the group level people classify their heinous act simply as "ritual." When Mrs. Hutchinson arrives at the ceremony late, she chats sociably with Mrs.

Delacroix. Nevertheless, after Mrs. Hutchinson falls victim to the lottery selection, Mrs. Delacroix chooses a "stone so large" that she must pick it up with both hands (79). Whereas, on the individual level, the two women regard each other as friends, on the group level, they betray that relationship, satiating the mob mentality.

Although civilized people may no longer hold lotteries, Jackson's story illustrates that society's tendency toward violence and its tendency to hold onto tradition, even meaningless, base tradition, reveal our need for both ritual and belonging.

 

Thiss paper is about short story "The lottery" by shirely Jackson. Just summarize it with no personal opinions(1/2 page to 1 page typed), but my paper is focusing on people's conformity. So the last paragraph actually tells everything I need. Make the summary based on 8-step of summary method(attached file)

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 07/23/2015 01:00 pm
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