Response to The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

This piece didn’t necessarily strike me as creepy or spooky or outright frightening but it still retained an element of horror that I felt was more subtle: the unknown. One thing Jackson did well was giving us enough information about the characters present to feel as though we could begin to know them without having us grow too attached. Another would be that the entirety of the story is set during The Lottery but we’re never told who started it or what the purpose for it is. These questions  haunt those who need answers and, for people like myself, leave a sense of uncomfortable wonder. We don’t get much about what happens to Tessie, but it’s understood that she had stones pelted at her (presumably, until dead).  Regardless, I think reading The Lottery was important in broadcasting the real diversity there is in horror storytelling. There isn’t one cut-and-dry method to being scary, rather there are a handful of techniques that each bring their own flavor to the meal.

 

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