Discussion Group for April 10th-- The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
84,816
337,643
57
Cambridge, Ohio
No it didn't come out of nowhere. You made your joke and that just showed how our thinking nowadays is. We joke. in general. Not everyone, but it's a more laid back and educated world out there today.

I think he was just saying that back in the day, that story horrified people. No one was making a joke about this story. Or looking for the joke. It was about 10 years after Orson Welles scared the holy hell out of a very naive society that aliens were landing in his War of the Worlds radio broadcast.
....you whippersnapper!....get off your own lawn!....
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
2,774
12,387
15
No it didn't come out of nowhere. You made your joke and that just showed how our thinking nowadays is. We joke. in general. Not everyone, but it's a more laid back and educated world out there today.

I think he was just saying that back in the day, that story horrified people. No one was making a joke about this story. Or looking for the joke. It was about 10 years after Orson Welles scared the holy hell out of a very naive society that aliens were landing in his War of the Worlds radio broadcast.
In my opinion, the information really wasn’t nessecary to be directed in respond to my joke, and would’ve done better without my post quoted. I’m not offended by it quoting my post, I just think it was weird to be fed a dialogue of information that had nothing to do with the post.
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
2,774
12,387
15
No it didn't come out of nowhere. You made your joke and that just showed how our thinking nowadays is. We joke. in general. Not everyone, but it's a more laid back and educated world out there today.

I think he was just saying that back in the day, that story horrified people. No one was making a joke about this story. Or looking for the joke. It was about 10 years after Orson Welles scared the holy hell out of a very naive society that aliens were landing in his War of the Worlds radio broadcast.
Also, side-note, from what I’ve heard the War of the World’s broadcast reactions are largely over-exaggerated and that most of that story is myth. I’m no expert on the topic, just that I’ve heard the mass hysteria was made up and that reactions to the broadcast were more of an isolated incident.
 

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
48,767
208,305
Thornfield
In my opinion, the information really wasn’t nessecary to be directed in respond to my joke, and would’ve done better without my post quoted. I’m not offended by it quoting my post, I just think it was weird to be fed a dialogue of information that had nothing to do with the post.
I think my explanation is valid. kingricefan can speak for himself but it was a proper fit for me.

And that's interesting that the hysteria was made up, but then again, trying to get publicity is what the Hollywood machine does.
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
2,774
12,387
15
Also also, @kingricefan’s post is interesting nonetheless, this was in 1948, so it wasn’t long until the comics code came up in the 50’s and other forms of censorship. I relate it to the documentary clips of teen youth life in the ‘50’s I posted in #Random-Videos. American propaganda still exists but it was very prevalent in 50’s pop culture. I.e. the comics code in the mid-50’s had stuff like...

-Government must never be looked down upon
-The villain must never have morally justifieable motives
-No inspirations of rebellion

This is just paraphrased from memory but it gets the point down. My point is, stuff like this really was frightening and unexpected then, but more-or do authority figures who didn’t want it corrupting the minds of youth. This snowballed into the obsession with counter-culture the late ‘60’s youth had.
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
2,774
12,387
15
I think a better example of falling for a radio prank was some broadcast in the 50’s claiming pasta was grown on trees in Italy and statistics about how it grows and harvest seasons and how the infamous Pasta Wevil can ruin a good harvest. Something along those lines, here’s the wiki article

Spaghetti-tree hoax - Wikipedia
 

Tery

A homeward angel on the fly
Moderator
Apr 12, 2006
14,576
40,917
Bremerton, Washington, United States
So, I was a junior in High School when I first read this in script form. When my drama teacher suggested I play Tess he had a grin on his face that I didn't like at all. From the start I felt as though I was being treated as a bit of a pariah. Now that I look back, I can see that this helped me play the role. But it was no fun at the time.

The story reminds me of a purported ancient practice of the Celts. Once the crops were growing well, the village would find a man -- usually a wanderer of some sort -- and deem him the Harvest King. They would then take him out to the fields and slit his throat. His blood would fertilize the earth, ensuring a good harvest. It may not be true but it still reminded me of The Lottery when I read about it in West Country Wicca. The idea that a human life was an appropriate exchange for crops, the hunt, etc. crosses cultures and eras. In The Lottery, Jackson modernizes this practice. Her view of slavish devotion to tradition/religion was quite forward-thinking for the time.

This is a story that stays with you. Sometimes I can close my eyes and see the faces of my fellow students, pantomiming throwing rocks at me. I felt like they enjoyed it and it bothered me so much that, when we were asked to perform the play at UNLV, I passed the role on to another actor. My very weak confidence and self-esteem just couldn't take another hit.
 

Tery

A homeward angel on the fly
Moderator
Apr 12, 2006
14,576
40,917
Bremerton, Washington, United States
I think a better example of falling for a radio prank was some broadcast in the 50’s claiming pasta was grown on trees in Italy and statistics about how it grows and harvest seasons and how the infamous Pasta Wevil can ruin a good harvest. Something along those lines, here’s the wiki article

Spaghetti-tree hoax - Wikipedia
That was an April Fool's prank. I just read about it. Pretty good one, too. :D
 

HollyGolightly

Well-Known Member
Sep 6, 2013
9,439
72,206
49
Heart of the South
I have loved this story for years - it was the first horror story I recall reading. (Wayoftheredpanda - this kind of horror scares me the most: the nature of us)

I agree with everything said above. I brushed up my discussion by reading about the first publishing of it and learned it was first published in The New Yorker, and during that era they had a reputation for not saying if a story or article was fact or fiction - so no doubt some folks thought it might be so. Just like Orson Wells newscast. It seems they got a lot of intense reaction from it. I don't think many people liked being unsettled by art - and if they did like that feeling, they probably wouldn't admit it. We seem to enjoy being unsettled now - for sure our Ka-Tet - that's how we got here. Good point about the Charyou Tree - GNTLGNT - I see that.

Tery very cool (and disturbing for you) playing Tessie - it must have been unnerving to be her - I would have had a hard time detaching from my own emotions while people were circling me and throwing stones - very creepy. Not to mention how alienating those years can be anyway.

Dana Jean you've got mad skills at commentary and review! Spot on. The human capacity for self preservation and the desire to control the future with sacrifice is deep in our genes. Sacrifice was one of those very early steps of cognitive evolution. Burying the dead was the first (I think - my anthropology is rusty). The fact that everyone was guilty, so no one was guilty of murder seemed a comfort to them.

Miss Jackson (no my name ain't baby! kingricefan ) did a fine job of giving little clues that things were not as they seem, but also letting the story feel like a sweet little story so you were kind of shocked.

Good pick Spideyman
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
59,184
225,193
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
May we have a volunteer for next weeks discussion-- April 17th? Just pick a short story available free on line and post a link.
How about a Stephen King short story called "Harvey's Dream"?

Harvey’s Dream

(Not sure how it ends - I am just reading it online now)
It's from 2003 and in the New Yorker magazine
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
59,184
225,193
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Discussion Group Read for April 17th
Lead by Neesy

Harvey’s Dream by Stephen King
Thanks :)

- not sure if I am using the British spelling or not but I would have said "led" by Neesy :Oo: I was always getting picked up for that when I went to Herzing College - I would spell "spelled" like this: spelt and then I would lose marks :facepalm_smiley:

It's a short story and I just finished it

By the way, did we already discuss his short story "Laurie"?
 

cat in a bag

Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2010
11,025
59,179
wyoming
I read this story for the first time in high school. I remember being surprised and shocked by the ending, which is the reason why I love it. You just do not (usually) associate bad things with the word "lottery." Unless you have read this story.

Agree with all who said it was sacrifice for the health of their crops. The wealth of their residents and their town.

Something that really stuck out to me this time around was that the "winning" family all had to draw. Even the little bitties. I did not remember that part at all. I remembered the children taking part in the final part of the ritual but not that they had to draw a piece of paper out of the box as well.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
84,816
337,643
57
Cambridge, Ohio
Just last week I read the authorized graphic adaptation of "The Lottery" written/illustrated by her (S. Jackson's) grandson Miles Hyman. I read the story years ago but this graphic novel did an excellent job of nailing the mood and empty spirit of the town and townfolk.
...will look that up Mal.....thanks for that tidbit-didn't know it had been given the "comic" treatment.....
 
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