CHARACTERS The Lottery and Other Stories 108

FREE READ The Lottery and Other Stories

CHARACTERS The Lottery and Other Stories 108 Â The Lottery one of the most terrifying stories written in this century created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker Power and haunting and nights of unrest were typical reader responses This collection the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson's lifetime unites The Lottery wiEnty four eually unusual stories Together they demonstrate Jackson's remarkable range from the hilarious to the truly horrible and power as a storyteller. Very rarely does one find a short story collection where all stories are above average Kudos to Ms Jackson for producing a collection where all are excellent and some really outstanding I wonder whether it is possible to fall in love with a lady who passed away when one was scarcely two years old If so I'm in love with ShirleyThe title story needs no introduction in fact this is the one which first led me to Shirley Jackson and The Haunting of Hill House which so far I've not been able to read It must be one of the most discussed stories in American literature You can find my review hereHowever The Lottery is an exception in this collection none of the other stories are actual shockers though the suggestion of violence in some of them is really disturbing In The Renegade various methods to cure a dog of her chicken killing tendencies are discussed some of them right out of a medieval torturer's manual In The Witch a casual story told to a boy by a stranger takes an ugly turn Always the humdrum suddenly metamorphoses into the bizarre never uite letting go of strong undercurrent of black humourShirley never lets us forget that behind the mask of civilisation the caveman is still very much present even though the mask is removed fully only in The Lottery However it leads to a permanent undercurrent of tension which would be unbearable had it also not been so humorous People are always at loggerheads arms akimbo ready to draw and shoot though they never actually do We can see this tension among social situations most palpably in Trial by Combat Afternoon in Linen Like Mother Used to Make Men with Their Big Shoes and The Intoxicated and also in stories where the antagonism is not so evident In some stories this results in the total emotional domination of one human being by another leading to virtual slavery Like Mother Used to Make Men with Their Big Shoes Perhaps not surprisingly children in Ms Jackson's fictional universe take it in their stride In Kerala we have a movement called Pennezhuthu Woman writing It is coined by feminists to indicate the deconstructed language they use to subvert traditional masculine bias in literature I have never been able to understand what they mean by this but it cannot be denied that talented women bring a certain individual touch to language themes and narrative Shirley's female protagonists lost in the labyrinthine city jungles are a case in pointIn Pillar of Salt New York becomes a virtual trap for a country woman who is reduced to a wreck who cannot cross the street by the end of the tale In Flower Garden the younger Mrs Winning of Vermont Manor House becomes a prisoner of her own snobbish values In Elizabeth a lonely woman stuck in a stagnating business dreams of a demon lover in a sunlit garden and waits for him In the The Tooth a woman in the grip of a bad tooth has a dreamlike bus trip with a mysterious strangerBut it is in The Daemon Lover that this mysterious male a representation of the female animus perhaps is taken to its logical extreme view spoilerA woman on the search for her lover who has stood her up on her wedding morning runs him to earth in an apartment where he is apparently holed up However all her efforts to smoke him out are vainShe knew there was someone inside the other apartment because she was sure she could hear low voices and sometimes laughter She came back many times every day for the first week She came on her way to work in the mornings;in the evenings on her way to dinner alone but no matter how often or how firmly she knocked no one ever came to the door hide spoiler

Shirley Jackson Ý 8 CHARACTERS

The Lottery one of the most terrifying stories written in this century created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker Power and haunti. “Grace Paley once described the male female writer phenomenon to me by saying’Women have always done men the favor of reading their work but the men have not returned the favor’” I do believe that Miss Jackson was making a very pointed comment about male readers I don’t consciously think about reading a male or female writer but I know that I do read male writers I went back and looked at the last thirty books I’ve read22 male writers 73%8 female writers 27%I wasn’t expecting to find a 5050 split or anything but I was still shocked to see that my ratio was so extremely out of balance Thank goodness I had just read an Ursula Le Guin and this Shirley Jackson or my ratio would have been even skewed So maybe I’m not consciously selecting books due to the gender of the writer but maybe I should be conscious about selecting women writers for my reading ueue Oh no I have to read Virginia Woolf Oh yesThese stories are all nicely tied together by a single thread of cruelty Maybe cruelty is too strong a word Maybe describing it as a meanness or an unkindness with how people treat other people would be accurate In these stories there are jilted lovers racism unreasonable fears con men lost souls a book thief petty judgments aspersions cast recklessly and with the final story there is a community of people trapped by their own insidious customs We are surrounded by inhumanityJackson sets each of these stories up with perfectly normal scenarios and then a spear appears out of the darkness and stabs through your vitals The spear is barbed with wicked spikes so that it hooks into your skin and reuires a careful painful removal before you can move onto the next story I couldn’t help but think of some of the barbs I’ve had hit me unexpectedly over the years I’m a pincushionThe final story The Lottery was uite the sensation when it was published in The New Yorker in 1948 People cancelled their subscriptions They flooded the offices of the publisher with angry phone calls Jackson herself received over 300 letters of which only 13 were positive Even her parents didn’t like the story It is always interesting to see how people react to things Occasionally our editorial team at the publication of which I am a part owner will publish a story that will irritate some readers We are in the age of FOX NEWS and MSNBC where people are spoon fed a view of the world that is exactly like their own People now have even less tolerance for reading or hearing anything that deviates from their own beliefs than people did in 1948 They can agree with 99% of what a publication chooses to share with them but if they read one article out of several hundred that they don’t likethey cancel their subscription Does that make any senseJackson and her publisher were shocked and frankly astounded at the vehement reaction to her story It certainly stirred up a lot of powerful emotions in people After the dust settled I’m sure that Jackson had to be privately pleased that something she wrote scared people or certainly inspired them to action Most writers prefer adoration to loathing or anger but there had to be this moment where Jackson thought Wow I touched a nerve and I think I like it South Africa banned itLooking at the story through a 2016 lense instead of a 1948 lense I was not at all offended by the story nor was I as shocked by the story as I certainly would have been 68 years ago but it is still an unsettling concept There is the growing unease as you realize what is about to happen There is a welling of frustration with a group of people who continue to support an event that is trapped in ignorance and superstition I kept thinking to myself Someone needs to take an ax to the black box that holds the community hostage ”The black box grew shabbier each year by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color and in some places faded or stained” The box’s condition reflects the outdated concepts that inspired its creation in the first place Shirley Jackson may not have had the most endearing view of people She peels her characters like an onion revealing them layer by layer We see the deceitfulness and the unscrupulousness that lurks at the center of so many people Jackson herself suffered from several psychosomatic illnesses and neuroses She was overweight and chain smoked I think she was all too aware of her own weaknesses She passed away in her sleep from a heart attack at 48 years old I have a feeling she was too hyper aware of the critical nature of life and ultimately crumbled piece by piece under the burden of this awareness RIPIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

READ & DOWNLOAD ï eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Ý Shirley Jackson

The Lottery and Other StoriesNg and nights of unrest were typical reader responses This collection the only one to appear during Shirley Jackson's lifetime unites The Lottery with tw. I am not persuaded any of these ualify as horror Good enough stories readable lukewarm writing not much BEWARE of SPOILERS AHEADThere's this story about some weird guy telling a young neurotical kid with an even younger sister gruesome tales about his own hypothetical sister The mother chases him away There's a story about a woman running around looking for her fiance and asking a bunch of random geezers about him It's painstakingly described how she's over 30 and how it's disadvantageing her to no end and how difficult it is to look presentable at this ripe old age eyeroll We get a view of her 2 pocketbooks dilemma 2 dress dilemma all kinds of dillemas of this kind We even get a view of her fantasy of how she would talk to the police trying to explain to them that she has a right to a fiance because she's not just this shabby bodyface at her ripe old age of 30 eyeroll but that there's also something beneath the surface that makes her worthy of this great honour eyerollThere's another story about a dancer become secretary who tries to buy secondhand furniture and pretends for a bit she's the one selling it to another customer The Lottery of course So the winner gets stoned by their neighbours young kids included once per year Another story is about a girl talking to a grownup about the approaching end of the world the said grownup gets his panties in a twist about it Yet another story is about Laurie telling stories about Charlie I hope I'm not mistaken about the names L goes to a kindergarten and comes home regaling everyone with stories about a wilder kid in there C These stories 'become an institution' with the family who start calling anything wild or unfortunate or nasty 'a Charlie' Then after ages they learn that there's no Charlie and that it was likelymaybe L doing all the acting up and then referring to himself in the 3d person and another name Taudry Maybe I liked this one for its weirdness but then again it's not too unusual a situation And not a horror definitely Kids and grownups have been known to do far horrible stuff than misbehaving in a kindergarten and then trying to make up an alter egoAnother one is about marines and a whole flock of females of a family who think marines are dirty or deranged or are gonna jump them all on sight or something And yes it's boring Another story is about an Afroamerican kid invited to dinner to a White family and the mother of the family being very obtuse about his life circumstances She's very determined to have her foot in her mouse for the duration of the story And she succeeds in that with flying colours Actually all over there are lots of women portrayed in here who are shown how they are over 30 and how it's difficult to be over 30 compared to being over 20 All these women live either for men or for kids or for something just behind the horizon They don't do things just for themselves And it's all damn tiresome and it might have been a social horror or writing horror or bored out of my mind horror but not horror horror I hope the author was trying to achive some kind of social satire or irony and was illustrating all this shit for the purpose of showing the reader just how bothersome these attitudes can get Or else these stories would be worthless altogetherAnd bothersome this whole stuff is Seriously men meeting such women how did they not manage to run really fast away so as not to immediately become the center of someone else's universe Is it even pleasant for anyone when the people's worlds are so very much skewed I wouldn't want to be in any society where any social group is obliged to revolve around the interest of any other social group I think both would be incredibly boring Mind it these stories might have been ground breaking in their time including the miracle of a woman no A WOMAN putting her pen to paper and getting some results recognisable as writing but at this time today these are of a jaw breaking from yawning kind Mildly interesting Only mildly