5-6 page Text-in-Context essay on a short story by 12/14/16 …

5-6 page Text-in-Context essay on a short story by 12/14/16 2200 Requirements are; 5-6 pages with font size 12 Times New Roman (excluding the works cited page) Original title in-text citations MLA Error free works cited page (four legitimate sources) one of  which should be scholarly or hybrid source such as academic journals/e-journals/books Identifying the theme (child/parent relationships) and presenting a thesis at the end of the introduction paragraph. Discuss the theme in larger context.

Child/Parent Relationships in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson: A Text-in-Context Analysis


The theme of child/parent relationships is a significant aspect of many literary works, often providing insight into the complexities of family dynamics and the impact they have on an individual’s sense of identity and belonging. In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” this theme is explored within the context of a small, seemingly idyllic town where an annual lottery is held. This essay will analyze the portrayal of child/parent relationships in “The Lottery” and discuss its implications in a larger societal context.

The Importance of Child/Parent Relationships

Child/parent relationships play a crucial role in shaping an individual’s psychological and emotional development. The interactions and dynamics between parents and children heavily influence one’s sense of self, values, and beliefs. This theme is often explored in literature as a means of shedding light on the complexities and consequences of familial relationships.

Identifying the Theme

In “The Lottery,” the theme of child/parent relationships is evident through the portrayal of family units and the impact of the lottery on parents and their children. The story centers around a disturbing tradition in which a member of the community is chosen through a lottery and subsequently stoned to death. While the story does not delve deeply into individual family dynamics, it subtly highlights the impact of the lottery on parent-child relationships and the subsequent transmission of this tradition to future generations.

Thesis Statement

Through the portrayal of child/parent relationships, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson demonstrates the destructive power of tradition and the ways in which it can perpetuate harmful practices within a community.

Family Units in “The Lottery”

In “The Lottery,” the representation of family units is presented as a cohesive entity within the community. As the lottery unfolds, the reader becomes aware that individual family members are participating in the selection process. This suggests a collective responsibility and implies that the parents and children are complicit in perpetuating the tradition. Jackson meticulously describes the gathering of stones, a symbol of violence and death, an indication that each family unit contributes to the act of murder.

The Impact on Parents and Children

While the precise relationships between parents and children in “The Lottery” are not fully explored, the story provides subtle hints about the impact of the lottery on these relationships. The parents, who have participated in the lottery for years, demonstrate a resigned acceptance of the tradition’s brutality. They seem almost indifferent as they watch their fellow community member being chosen and stoned to death. This indifference suggests a moral disconnect between the parents and their children. In contrast, the children in the story are characterized as being more innocent and unaffected by the brutality of the ritual. This difference in perception implies a generational gap in understanding and highlights the potential tension between parents and children when it comes to the transmission of harmful traditions.

The Transmission of Tradition

“The Lottery” illuminates the mechanisms through which harmful traditions are transmitted from generation to generation. The fact that the lottery continues to be held year after year suggests that the community sees the practice as necessary for their survival. This highlights the power of ritual and the inclination of individuals to adhere to deeply ingrained customs, even when they may morally conflict with their own values. The notion of sacrifice and communal unity outweighs the individual’s sense of right and wrong, which can have lasting consequences for parent-child relationships. The parents’ acceptance of the lottery perpetuates the cycle of violence and engenders a conflicting sense of loyalty within the community.


In the context of “The Lottery,” the theme of child/parent relationships sheds light on the destructive power of tradition and the ways in which it is perpetuated within a community. Through the portrayal of family units, the impact on parents and children, and the transmission of tradition, Jackson highlights the complexities of familial dynamics in the face of harmful rituals. This story serves as a cautionary tale, urging readers to critically examine the traditions they uphold and their potential influence on future generations.