Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” describes a barbaric ritual that is known to turn stomachs. The topic of this short story is vulgar and strange. Jackson’s story was written in 1943. This was during World War II and the holocaust. The most striking aspect of the story is the parallels it draws to Nazi Germany.
Although World War II started in 1939, the Nazis have controlled Germany since 1933, not long before Jackson wrote “The Lottery”. Hitler was able to convince the people to follow his beliefs of German Foreign policy through his wonderful ability to speak and through propaganda. Once people started to agree with his ideals, it only became easier to spread the word. Soon everyone followed his racist beliefs. Conformity was a way of life during that time. “The Lottery” also seems to include people conforming to a terrible tradition. Hitler had his people programmed and brainwashed by years of Nazi dogma into believing that Jewish people were responsible for Germany losing WWI. If a citizen didn’t agree with the official government ideals, they were labeled as “anti-social” and were brutally killed just as the Jews, Gypsies and other non-conformists were. Although the people of the village were not brainwashed, they still believed in such a tradition because to them, it was right. Nazi Germany is an allusion to the story because everyone took part in an event that was obviously unethical and cruel.
In Jackson’s story, Tessie Hutchinson was the lottery “winner” and when the crowd was ready to throw stones at her she said, “It isn’t fair” (228). When Old Man Warner encouraged everyone to begin throwing their stones she again repeated, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (229). This proves that the people know it isn’t fair. The villagers had a “better her than me” type of attitude and because they weren’t the ones being stoned to death, they didn’t mind doing the killing. This pertains to the holocaust because it was very common for...