not as brilliant and terrifying as Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard To Find", but a close second.
I was in the one-act adaptation of this in high school and loved it, too.
Any sane director would have had us just mime the stoning, but ours chose to litter the otherwise bare stage with pebbles wrapped in papier mache -- so that, as projectiles, they would actually fly through the air because of the weight. That's what we used to stone our leading lady. Dozens of padded pebbles that we actually threw at and hit her with. Can you imagine that happening today?
But, yes, fantastic story on so many levels.
So what's the story about?
@3 Read it here
@2 -- If you promise to cast Mr. Poe as your Tessie Hutchinson and dispense with the papier mache padding, I'll personally bankroll your production.
I must confess I was also in a high school one act of the Lottery. We also had paper mache rocks that flew threw the air (i was accidently pelted in the head during a performance and it hurt). However, the director allowed us to use red corn syrup blood during the pelting scene, and in the end, we were drenched in red, like a scene out of Dead/Alive. It was glorious.
If Christians wanted to be real Christians, they would continue to stone.
Nevermind; what I found interesting about this stroy was how well it conveyed how the public actually really gets a rise out of a group killing....enjoying it even. It made me think of hangings and the gang mentality.
Don't know if I could actually watch a live stage version of the short story, althouth it's one of my all-time favorites. But then, I managed to survive puppets fucking in Avenue Q, so I guess it's not such a great leap to endure papier mache rocks and red corn syrup.
I happened to stumble across the 1996 t.v. movie version starring a pre-Felicty Keri Russell. The only saving grace was the fabulous Veronica Cartwright, crazy character actress extraordinaire. I love me some Veronica Cartwright.
@5 -- Best laugh o' the day!
@8 -- Part of what I like is Jackson's comment on religion, that learned superstition is learned superstition. When is it good and when is it bad? Does the Lottery really make the corn grow or do the villagers only think it does? And is it justified either way?
She packed in a ton of stuff in such a short story.
And I'm so jealous now that we didn't have a corn syrup bloodbath in our show, too.
The scene where the hero (MTV's Dan Cortese!) is in the graveyard the night before the lottery and and suddenly realizes that ALL THE TOMBSTONES HAVE THE SAME DATES (cue scary music) is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.
Shirley Jackson kicked ass.
I loved making my arm hairs stand up from the current running through that metal bar on those desks. Sometimes a shock could be a real doozy.
Yeah... that story scared the shit out of me.
@1 - Agreed. My favorite line from "A Good Man": "She would have been a good woman," the Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."
I wonder if a lupus awareness group has ever run an ad campaign, "Get Tested for Lupus now! The life you save may be your own!"?
Gah. I still remember reading this story and being flabbergasted. i should pick it up again. . .
@16 Ha! It's a song by Killdozer, probably the most literate of all bands signed to Touch & Go in the '80s. Go to You Tube and give 'er a listen - they're great.
'The Lottery' may be high on the banned list, but it's also *the* most widely taught short story in American schools.
I've never seen the version you mention, but Larry Yust's 1969 film version was a staple of junior & senior h.s. English and Social Studies classes during the mid/late '70's.
@19: I don't know about that. "The Lady or the Tiger" and "The Most Dangerous Game" come up with astounding regularity.
Jackson is the most famous alum from my high school, back in upstate New York. It's a very twisted local rite of passage when every student is told that the story they are about to read is the product of a local girl done good. That glow of pride almost inevitably turns to fear and revulsion, as kids are lead from the classroom in stunned horror. Everyone who grew up in my town has the same memory.
"The bar, for some reason, was always chilly"??? This sentence ruined the post for me. Yuck.
They're still reading this one in Seattle Public Schools...I was reminded of this story earlier this school year by a teen who'd read it in class. She came home saying, "today we read a story called 'The Lottery...it was horrible!'"
now that the supreme court has struck down the gun ban, i will be keeping a handgun at work in case my coworkers get a hankerin' for a stoning.
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