Women’s position


Generally, a lottery is very exciting. Winners will get thousands of dollars or some attractive awards. However, Shirley Jackson tells people a special lottery that brings deep anguish to people especially to women. In her short story, The Lottery, she describes a story that happens in the patriarchal society. In a small village, there is a huge ritual: drawing lottery. Everyone must obey this ritual. Every year, the head of each family, who should be a grown man, draws the lottery for his whole family. Somebody who draws the lottery with the black spot will be regarded as the scapegoat to help others to avoid something terrible. Everyone uses stones to hit him or her until he or she died. In this society, the villagers inherited this huge ritual from their ancestors. They have conformed to this traditional ceremony for many years and nobody questions it even though it is inhumane. After finishing reading this story, it is easy to find the following facts: women do not have any rights and males rule the whole society; women are made to be the victims and the sacrificial lambs; men of this village use this ritual to control the women in order to maintain their dominative position .


Firstly, women do not have any rights and males rule the whole society, women are treated as the appendix of men. In the story, Shirley Jackson describes women as lower than men. They stand in second-class citizen, “the girls stood aside, talking among themselves, looking over their shoulders at the boys, and the very small children rolled in the dust or clung to the hands of their older brothers or sisters.” When the boys are playing and connecting stones, the girls have to stand aside because they are not equal to the boys and they do not do something as what the boys do. Obviously, this conception, men are higher than women that is accepted by them since they were children. Janet Saltzman Chafetz describes men and women are not equal, in her article, Society Determines Sex Roles:


The description of the early treatment of infants can provide useful insights in terms of the concepts developed above. First, from birth the nature of the interaction between parents and children differs markedly according to the sex of the child. If indeed, the interaction process is crucial to the development of self-images, it is clear that those of males and females will eventually be quite different. (23)


Shirley Jackson also mentions that, “the women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their menfolk.” It points out that the role of women in this society is only as a housewife.