What Society makes us do. In the three short stories of this unit, society makes individuals do things that they might not have done of their own accord. What are the three “pressures” that society imposes on mankind and what are the effects of those “pressures.”
1. The Lottery – Shirley Jackson
In this story “accepted tradition” can be unthinkable. Yet we do this all the time. And change is difficult. As Old Man Warner represents the past and the present, and a refusal to do anything different, even if other towns are. While The Lottery is good story for Halloween, it is also a story that makes us think about our own society. For years, people were told in commercials that smoking was good for us. Everyone smoked years ago. To fit in, you smoked. Then sudden in the the latter part of the twentieth century, studies came out that indicated smoking was not particularly good for us, and suddenly a perception started to change, and it took years, and even now, it is still a way of life for many. Pay close attention to how this even is like a picnic, children are playing, people are laughing. This is like a July 4th barbeque. This is fun and a special event. Pay close attention to the symbols, as the little boy plays with a small rock. Notice the symbol of the black dot on the lottery paper. It represents other dark moments in society’s history.
2. The Red Convertible – Louise Erdrich
– The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich is a more recent story, from 1984, but represents issues people have to this day, coming back from war and experience PTSD. Since mental illness always is less understood than physical illness, people suffering from the results of war or other trauma often go undiagnosed and untreated. Many do not choose war, but are selected, and experience traumas they deal with for the rest of their lives. Society often does not deal well with these individuals. Vietnam war veterans experienced not only a lack of sympathy because of an unpopular war, but they were dealt with poorly. Things have improved but society still tends to not appreciate those who have served it and suffered.
3. The Story of an Hour – Kate Chopin
-The Story of an Hour is a very short story, and reflects the brevity of time it covers. It is in some ways reflective of its era. It was written in 1894, a very different era for women. Women had their destinies determined for them, there wasn’t much choice in the matter, and since there wasn’t much choice, most women accepted their lot. This story shows the change in a women’s experience and emotions when she finds out her husband had died. It’s a wonderful story that works even now in 2020, because it shows us how quickly our perspective can change.
Please do 5 paragraphs. Intro(1), Body(3) and Conclusion(1). Please write a thesis statement and underline it. List the three “pressures” and address them in the three body paragraphs, one paragraph for each “pressure”.