annotated bib 2 - break, and without change of scene, by...

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Miss Jackson’s story is remarkable for the tremendous shock produced by the ending. Up to the last six paragraphs the story is written in the manner of a realistic transcript of small-town experience: the day is a special one, true, but the occasion is familiar, and for the most part the people are presented as going through a well-known routine. We see them as decent, friendly neighborly people: in fact, most of the details could be used just as they are in a conventional picture of idyllic small-town life. Suddenly in the midst of this ordinary environment, there occurs a terrifyingly cruel action, official, accepted, yet for the reader mysterious and unexplained. It is entirely out of terms of actual experience in which the story has otherwise dealt. It is as if ordinary life had suddenly ceased and were replaced, without warning, without
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Unformatted text preview: break, and without change of scene, by some horrifying nightmare. Note how the shock is enhanced by the deadpan narrative style, which in no way suggests that anything unusual is going on. Preparations for the ending: A few slight notes of nervousness Talk about giving up the tradition The emotional outburst by mrs. Hutchinson All suggest some not entirely happy outcome Another build up of suspense is the entire absence of explanation of the public ceremony. What the story appears to be saying is that although ancient rituals die out, the habits of mind which brought them into being persist; that we still find scapegoats and “innocent victims.” Heilman, Robert B. "Shirley Jackson, 'The Lottery': Comment." Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 87 . Ed. Christopher Giroux. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1995. 222-223. Date 1950...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MUSC 173 taught by Professor Fairfield during the Spring '08 term at Northern Illinois University.

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