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A Reading of Shirley Jackson's? The Lottery?

The criticism of literal work by researchers, scholars and authors has and will always be an important component in the literal world. In consistent with this, there are important factors which must be considered when criticizing other author’s work. With this in mind, one of the literal works which received a lot of criticism during its time is “A Reading of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’” which was criticized by many researchers, scholars and authors among them Peter Kosenko in 1984.

To begin with, Kosonko focuses on other critics who had pointed out different issues regarding their position on Shirley Jackson’s essay. As a critic, Kosonko (1984) begins by focusing on the fact that most of them missed the point as they criticized this essay. As a result of realizing this fact, he is able to stay on course, to gain a deeper understanding of the essay and as a result be in a position to give a valid judgment on the essay. In this respect, he is also able to control his purpose of analyzing the essay by rising above his own opinions and the opinions of others who had criticized this essay before him. For instance, he begins by stating the position of the critics who had analyzed the essay before. Additionally, he analyzes the response of Jackson towards her critics before delving into his own analysis

Apart from rising against the opinions of earlier critics regarding Jackson’s essay, Kosonko (1984) also uses some of the critics’ arguments to support his position. To him, a few critics made sense in their arguments while others did not. However, he does not allow their arguments to deviate him from the actual course of his position towards the essay.

Finally, Kosonko (1984) also develops his criticism in a logical manner by beginning with earlier critics, then moving on to Jackson’s response towards her critics and then finally developing his own judgment of the essay. More so, he cited different sources to shed more light on his arguments, thus enabling him to develop concrete arguments towards the essay. Following this point, it is possible to understand what Jackson’s essay was all about without necessarily reading it since Kosonko’s arguments also included a summary of important sections of the essay as a way of elaborating these parts. This contributes to the relevancy of Kosonko’s criticism of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’.


Kosenko, P. (1984). A Reading of Shirley Jackson's ‘The Lottery’. New Orleans Review, 12(1), p. 27-32.

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