The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Fiction Essay ENGL 102 : Literature and Composition Fall B 2011 Romain Debernardi ID # 23075483 MLA Format Debernardi 2 Romain DEBERNARDI Doctor Yaw ENGL 102 10 September 2011 In this paper, we are going to carry out a reflexion about the characters in two stories : “The Destructors,“ by Graham Greene and “The Lottery,“ by Shirley Jackson. We are going to identify the main characters and point out their qualities, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors. In this way, we will compare the two stories based upon their characters.
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Leading or Following the Group Paper # 1 In a story, the main character is usually the one around whom the plot revolves, his adventures, feelings, and motivations. In “The Destructors,“ by Graham Greene, the main character is Trevor, an evolving leader of a gang located in London. He decides to break into Mr. Thomas’ house and to destroy everything in it. According to the other story, “The Lottery,“ by Shirley Jackson, the main character, Mrs. Hutchinson, participates in the traditonal village lottery where the « winner » gets stoned by the crowed.

As we learn, these two characters are very atypical and differ in many points ; therefore, we first must analyse each characters’ qualities and behaviors, and then we will determine their roles within each stories. In “The Lottery,“ Mrs. Hutchinson, a housewife with three kids, is a normal person. She is not concerned and she tends to stay in the background without being really assertive. She is a simple inhabitant of a simple village who follows the traditions even though she does not really approve them. Mrs. Hutchinson’s characteristics are in perfect opposition to Trevors’ behavior.

Trevor stands out of the gang. He remains sillent so as not to waste his words when he starts speaking, but when he opens his mouth to speak, everyone listens. In fact, he is really different from the rest of the gang. Even though he is a new recruit and he is different, he manages to impose his personality and to integrate well into the gang. Throughout his story, we notice that Trevor acts as a leader. The whole story comes from him. Trevor leads the plot by always deciding what to do and where to go. Since everything orbits around him. e can say that Trevor is carrying the story by hiself. Also, it seems that the narrator is trying to promote himself to leader of the gang. Trevor earns his companions’ trust. He acts like a hero by displaying all his bravery and skills when an issues arrise. On the contrary, Mrs. Hutchinson follows the action. She does not decide about anything. She is playing a waiting game and does not lead anything at all. She arrives late at the lottery and people tend to laugh at her. Contrary to Trevor in “The Destroyers,“ Mrs. Hutchinson acts as everybody else.

She does not distinguish herself from the group besides by being late at the meeting which does not bring a good image of her. Also, when Mrs. Hutchinson’s name is drawn, she disputes the decision with weak arguments. She does not accept her fate, and she seems to be very afraid. This lack of bravery conveys a certain antihero status which completely differs from Trevor in “The Destructors. “ Another important factor to analyse is the opinions of these main characters and how they express them. In the “The Destructors,“ Trevor has strong opinions. He intends to break into Mr.

Thomas’ house and he wants to show everyone in the gang that it is absolutely the right thing to do. Even if at first, his companions are not really enthusiastic about that, he finally managse to convince them. We can say that his conviction and his persuasion conveys a strong personnality and the charisma of a leader. This is strengthened by the fact that when he says his name, which supposed to be funny, no one laughs. This is a strong mark of respect. Even if Trevor’s actions are wrong, we want to look like him. In contrast to Trevor’s leadership, Mrs.

Hutchinson is not as captivating. She tries to justify her lateness, but no one really accepts her excuses. Even when she protests her nomination to be stoned, she does not manage to convey her message. Unlike Travor, she is not convincing and her arguments are not pertinent. She speaks, but we can feel that no one really pays attention. We can guess that by describing a main character who follows the crowd, the author attempts to denounce conformity in modern society. Within these two stories, the authors create two completely opposite main characters.

On one hand, Trevor, is very charismatic. Despite the fact that he is a different person, he becomes the leader of a gang and everyone ends up listening to him. He adheres to a more heroic image. On the other hand, Mrs. Hutchinson follows the group, and she lacks courage and bravery. She represents more of an antiheroic character as she embodies an average person. We can infer from thess two main charcters the desire of each author to display two opposite character traits innate in all humans : the tendencies towards leadership and following the group.