Women’s Inferiority in The Lottery——The Reason of Tessie Hutchinson’s Tragedy

减小字体 增大字体 作者:佚名  来源:www.zhonghualunwen.com  发布时间:2010-01-23 10:58:27

  [摘 要]The Lottery is the masterpiece of Shirley Jackson,a famous American novelist.After the publication of this story,people give intense attention to it.In this paper,women's inferiority is analyzed.Women are inferior,which can be seen from the behaviors of the villagers and Tessie Hutchinson's being chosen.Tessie is chosen is implied by her name and her words and behaviors against traditions.
  [关键词] Inferiority Tessie Hutchinson lottery tragedy
  [中图分类号]I106 [文献标识码]A [文章编号]1009-5489(2010)01-0139-02
  With the development of the society and the rise of the Women Returning Home movement,many American women returned home and became happy housewives.However,not all of them are so happy.Many women left their job but were centered with husbands and kids and did boring housework day after day,year after year without any pay.Therefore,they lost their economic independency and had to submit to their husbands.Finally they lost their opportunity for further education and their own personality,and became men's attachment.Women's life and rights choked because of their carrying out of the duty as wives and mothers,so they were not happy at all.From the 20th century on,a number of women writers sprouted.Most of their works reflected women's attachment to men and the depression of women's mind.From unique views,these women writers displayed women's consciousness and ability.
  In 1948,the famous American novelist,Shirley Jackson published her masterpiece---the short story,The Lottery,on New Yorker.The publication caused great attention of critics.In this grotesque story,under the threat of death,women are doubtlessly sacrificed.The Lottery is not long---less than five thousands words.From the non-participant point view and with concise words,the author tells a seemingly true but horrible story calmly: every June,people of a small village gather on the square to determine who should be killed as a sacrifice for harvest by the other people with stones.This short story displays a profound theme.It's an absurd world controlled by men where women are inferior and sacrifice of the society.The author shows fierce irony to the false equallity.Shirley Jackson explains women's inferiority from villagers'behavior and Tessie Hutchinson's fate of being chosen.
  Ⅱ.Tessie Hutchinson's tragedy
  Women's inferiority in The Lottery is mainly embodied in Tessie Hutchinson's being chosen as a sacrifice.The title-The Lottery puzzles readers.In the Oxford Advanced Learner's English-Chinese,lottery means "way of raising money by selling numbered tickets and giving prize to the holders of numbers selected at random." Before the reading,readers will think that it is must be something about fortune or games.However,it is completely beyond imagination.The winner gets no prize but death.Jackson picks carefully out Tessie to mock the so-called sexual equality.The heroine's name and her defiant words and behaviors imply her tragedy.
  1.Symbol of the name
  From the name of the heroine,Tessie Hutchinson,we can foresee her tragedy.She is like Anne Hutchinson who was expelled by puritans and also like Tess in Hardy's masterpiece,the sacrifice of men-controlled society.The name,Tessie,dates back from the Greek world-theizein,which means "harvest"in accordance with the purpose of the lottery in the short story.With such a name full of symbols,the author determines Tessie's destiny-the sacrifice of primitive rites.
    2.Defiance to traditions
  Tessie unconsciously shows her resistance to the inequality between man and woman and defiance to the traditional rites,which is intolerable in the society.It is the very defiance that pushes her to death.
  Tessie does not attach much importance to the lottery.She thinks washing and cleaning are more important.Her lateness and laugh disturb the pre-arranged role and the social order of the ruler.Therefore,she is chosen to be stoned to warn others.Finally,she comes and Mr.Summers is cheerful.However,during the course of the lottery,her words and behaviors are against the rule that men control everything.During the first round of the lottery,when it is her home's turn,she says "get up there,Bill," which makes people near her laugh.That is because she does not,like other women,call her husband "old man" but the name directly.Her words challenge the social institution that husbands are superior,because she reverses the place of husbands and wives,though she is unconscious of it.Her mistake-the unconscious challenge-pushes her further to death.When she realizes that her husband gets the ticket,she cries that "you did not give him time enough to take any paper he wanted.I saw you.It was unfair!" As a common woman who is inferior,she has no right to take part in politics.Her crying of "unfair" disturbs the divisions of work: "men make houses,women make homes."

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