Saturday, November 25, 2023

The “first people” in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” (1948)

In Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" (1948), the box for the lottery is not the original: "There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here." The villagers see their settler ancestors as "the first people", but the Hutchinsons and Warners, the Delacroixs and the Martins, the Dunbars and the Zaninis, were not the landscape's original occupants. The actual "first people" were displaced and erased by the settlers and their descendants' stories, and the lottery's violence continues their violence against the land's indigenous people. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 25 November 2023) 

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