Fiction Analysis – Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”

Shirley Jackson was born in 1916 in San Francisco, California, despite her claims for the better part of her life that she was born in 1919. Shirley started writing when she was a youngster and concentrated earnestly on her exertion in high school and university.

The inhabitants of a small town meet together in the Village Square on June 27, a lovely day primed for the town lottery. In further towns, the lottery takes a long time, but here there are only 300 persons in this village, hence the lottery is done in a span of two hours. The Village kids, who have just completed college for the summer, move around gathering stones. They keep the stones in their pouches and make a mound in the square. Adult men collect next, followed by the females. Parents assemble their kids over, and relatives stand together.
Mr. Summers prompts everyone on the lottery’s guidelines: he will call out names, and the heads of the family come up and pull out a slip of paper. Nobody is allowed to look at the paper till each person has drawn. Mr. Adams states to Old Man Warner that individuals in the north village could halt the lottery, then Old Man Warner mocks young persons. He says that abandoning the lottery may well lead to a case of going back to living in grottos. Mrs. Adams states the lottery has now been abandoned in other towns, and Old Man Warner states that is “nothing but trouble.”(Shirley 2008)

Some of the leitmotifs conveyed forward in this book are plain to see, like the dangers of thoughtlessly following customs. The village lottery finishes in a vehement homicide each year, an inexplicable ritual that proposes how treacherous custom can be when persons follow it recklessly. The inhabitants’ blind recognition of the lottery has permitted ritual manslaughter to develop into a portion of their town drapery. As they have proven, they feel helpless to adjustment—or even try to alter—anything, even though there is no one compelling them to keep the effects the same.

Some of the symbols depicted in the book are the title itself, the lottery characterizes any deed, behavior, or inkling that is handed down from one group to the next that is acknowledged and followed wholeheartedly, no matter how specious, inexplicable, or harsh. It is engraved into the town’s ethos, in fact, to the point, it is even convoyed by an old saying: “Lottery in June, corn be weighty soon.”

O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”

William Timothy O’Brien was born on October 1, 1946, in Austin, Minnesota. He was brought up in Worthington, an insignificant town in the south of Minnesota which he later described as what someone would locate if they “searched in a dictionary under the word boring.” “The Things They Carried” gotten O’Brien contrasts to numerous distinguished fiction novelists. O’Brien inserts himself into his literary works—so as to present his narratives to a bigger world, nevertheless also since he is incapable to escape the frequently frightening reminiscences of his war involvement.
The character, who is christened Tim O’Brien, starts by recounting an event that transpired in the inside of his Vietnam involvement. “The Things They Carried” lists the assortment of things his colleague combatants in the Alpha Company carried on their missions. Quite a lot of these things are incorporeal, as well as guilt and fear, whereas others are detailed physical objects, comprising morphine, M&M’s candy, matches, and M-16 rifles. The bereavement that obtains the most responsiveness is that of Kiowa, a favorite colleague of the Alpha Company and a close friend of O’Brien. (Bloom 2005)

Some of the symbolisms shown by O’Brien in this work is that of physical and emotional drains. The “things” as shown in the title that the participants bring with them are both factual and metaphorical. Whereas they all bring with them weighty physical piles, they also bring with them heavy emotive loads, poised of heartache, fright, affection, and yearning. Each man’s factual burden highlights his emotional load. After the war, the emotional encumbrances the men carry for the duration of the war carry on to describe them. For those who endure, they carry the blame, grief, and mix-up, and numerous stories in the assortment are about these fighters’ efforts to come to terms with their involvement.
By christening the speaker his own name and mentioning the rest of his characters after the people he essentially fought along within the Vietnam War, O’Brien hazes the difference between fact and fiction. The outcome is that it is intolerable to justify if the actions in the stories truly occurred to O’Brien. He deliberately heightens this cul-de-sac when his characters challenge themselves numerous times in the assortment of stories, leaving the certainty of any testimonial suspect.

 

Work Cited
Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. Mankato, MN: Creative Education, 2008. Print.
Bloom, Harold. Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2005. Print.

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