Friday, June 14, 2013


from The Lottery and Other Stories, by Shirley Jackson

The surprise ending of this felt predictable-- but that may be because I accidentally saw a line or two of a review before reading the story.  (I can't remember exactly what the review said, but it must've been enough...)

-- I can't help but wonder why the teacher never sent a note home with "Charles"/Laurie.  Maybe she did, but Laurie "lost" it on the way home.  In that case, after receiving no response, you'd think she'd have telephoned or even dropped by in person, after Laurie's continued misbehavior.  At least, I'm pretty sure that when I was in elementary school, the teachers would contact a parent under those circumstances.  Possibly things were different when this story was written, and a teacher wouldn't want to involve the parents until all other avenues had been exhausted.  Still, it struck me as odd.  (Necessary for the twist ending, though, which is probably all the explanation we need! (g))

-- That name... Laurie.  Several of the other short stories by this author that I've read have revolved around a little boy named Laurie.  Since Jackson had a son named Laurence, I've wondered if any of these stories are based on kernels of truth.  If so, Laurie seems to have been a particularly naughty-- one might even say bratty-- kid.  (Clearly, I do not agree with Anne that we love the mischievous Davies of the world more than the mild-mannered Doras.  You want a person of any age to have a personality, of course, but Davy and Laurie have a few dashes too much.)