StudentShare solutions
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

Essay example - Comparison Contrast of "Paul's Case" by Willa Cather and "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

Only on StudentShare
Pages 2 (502 words)
Two short story classics, "Paul's Case", written by Willa Cather at the beginning of the twentieth century, and "The Lottery", by Shirley Jackson in 1948, explore the effects of conforming to Society's expectations, and the expectations we place on ourselves…

Extract of sample

Shirley Jackson and Willa Cather develop the setting of their respective stories to help us understand the environmental forces influencing the characters, drawing upon these forces to show us the power, and influence of society's expectations of our lives. Jackson uses an unknown time and place, which allows the reader to visualize a very old, brutal ritual as if it were occurring in the present. (Jackson) Conversely Cather's story of a delusional boy occurs in a specific city, Pittsburgh, between the years 1900 and 1910, when industries were growing. This almost unregulated growth created a rich and powerful segment of society in America. It is this wealthy class that Paul most identifies with, but is unable to become a part of through the normal course of his life. (Cather)
Like Cather, Jackson uses the death of ordinary people to emphasize the impact of the major themes of her stories. Though both use different themes to create an emotional connection for the reader, it is each character's death that conveys the emotional message of the writers.. In "Paul's Case", The American Dream is the predominate theme. Cather places the reader in a middle class neighborhood. It is through listening to the resident's stories about the life of luxury enjoyed by their rich bosses that Paul becomes obsessed with this lifestyle. ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related papers

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
The story is set in an ordinary American village of three hundred inhabitants, who are apparently friendly to each other. Happening on a beautiful summer morning, June 27 to be exact, which the author describes vividly, it does not portend the violence that is to come later. She describes the villagers who start gathering in the square for the event which would take about two hours, enabling them…
Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'
"Lottery" relates a similar tale of brutality. The story not only draws criticism on the ancient practices but also to those of modern world. For example during World War 2, the Jews were brutalized and killed without any reason. There were people who did not agree with it, but no one said anything.…
5 pages (1255 words)
Shirley Jackson
Simultaneously, the focus Shirley Jackson made on the life theme belongs to that long American tradition of the romance, what Richard Chase refers to as "that freer, more daring, more brilliant fiction that contrasts with the solid moral inclusiveness and massive equability of the English novel" (Chase, viii). It is Chase's conviction that "the history of American novel is not only the history of…
9 pages (2259 words)
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
It is interesting to note how Jackson builds up the suspense and remarkably retains it. Up to the last six paragraphs the story is written in the manner of a realistic transcript of small-town experience: the day is a special one, true, but the occasion is familiar, and for the most part the people are presented as going through a well-known routine. We see them as decent, friendly, neighborly…
4 pages (1004 words)
Pauls Case by Willa Cather
The most tragic part in Paul's story is that before deciding on putting an end to his life, Paul is able to reach the second level, but not the final one.…