Compare and Contrast
Dissonant contrasts in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery primarily talks about an anticipated event known as ‘the lottery’ by the residents of a village in England. The event seems interesting but with time, no one wants to win the lottery. Dissonant contrasts in the story become more significant as events unfold as Jackson employs skilfully. Jackson ensures that the reader’s expectations are at odds with what takes place in the story. Initially, what comes to the readers mind through the way the place has been described is wonderful but what happens in the end due to the horrific violence is undesirable. The story’s setting is on a summer day, which is colourful as the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. What is more, everybody seemed happy and gathering with their families for the lottery, something that everybody wishes to win. Nevertheless, Jackson prepares the reader for something unpleasant to come so as not to mislead them. Before the lottery begins, the villagers distance themselves from the stool which holds the black box and they seem to be uneasy to help Mr. Summers when he asks for help (Jackson 289). This kind of reaction does not match with people who are looking forward to the lottery.
Character analysis in “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan
Two Kinds, by Amy Tan is a short story whose plot has been developed through the character of Jing-mei Woo in the 1st persona. Jing-mei’s mother, as told by the narrator, wants her to become a prodigy if not being famous and she has hope of the American dream, which she tries to realize through her daughter. On the other hand, Jing-mei is rebellious against her mother’s wishes. She seems not to be interested in becoming a prodigy and even though Jing-mei participates in a talent contest, it appears as if she has been forced to do so. Jing-mei’s mother is devoted to mould her daughter into something that she is not. The aspect of rebelliousness can be seen when Jing-mei intentionally starts an argument with her mother so that she can blame her for the poor performance at the talent show contest. Jing-mei intentionally sang badly and this shows that she does not want to honour her mother’s wishes. Nevertheless, Jing-mei is also rebellious against herself since she knows that she can be famous because she’s got the talent and has set the bars so high but she is suppressing her capabilities. Jing-mei also, declines to play piano until her mother passes away (Tan 405).
Symbolism in “Doe Season” by David Michael Kaplan
David Michael Kaplan has incorporated a wide range of symbols in his short story, Doe Season to reveal the challenges that Andy, the main character undergoes in her journey to womanhood. Initially, Andy reflects on a trip she once had with her family in the New Jersey shore. She remembers how her mum’s swimsuit came off due to the waves in the ocean and how she felt embarrassed seeing her mother’s breasts swinging freely. This memory represents the pre-conscious imitation of who Andy will become; a woman. Andy also, comments that, “it was like thinking of the space between here and the moon” (Kaplan 340) to indicate that she was not aware of the ventures during the trip with her father.
Jackson, Shirley. The lottery and other stories. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. 289.
Kaplan, David Michael. “Doe Season.” The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: Fifty North American Stories since 1970 (1987): 340.
Tan, Amy. “Two Kinds.” The joy luck club (1989): 132-405.