Essay: Hypocrisy in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
Hypocrisy is another theme presented in the play, Warner, the old man, reluctantly says, “There’s always been a lottery— Nothing but trouble in that” (Crane 164). Despite the old man’s statement, it is evident that the lottery creates anxiety among the villagers as one says, “Don’t be nervous Jack” (ibid 28) as Mrs. Delacroix holds her breath when her husband goes to pick his piece. Despite all this anxiety, no of the villagers turns his finger against this vice, which they all fear. They vehemently sacrifice their joy as they continue to carry out this tradition. The resistance by Mr. Summer to change the black box is an indication of society inability to do away with this vice even though many villages have already done away with the lottery (Arp & Johnson, 298).
Mrs. Hutchinson, who happens to be the protagonist, is used by Jackson to display hypocrisy in the society. Upon arriving late she claims of she did not remember the day. Though she pretends to be friendly and happy to be present, when her husband wins the lottery, she notes, “You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!” (Thomsen 191) Though she knew about the evils of the lottery, initially she pretends to be enjoying but when she becomes the victim to be stoned she begins curse it.