论雪莉·杰克逊小说《摸彩》中的替罪羊主题 On the Theme of Scapegoat in Shirley Jacksons The Lottery毕业论文
Shirley Jackson, as a short story writer, has always been regarded as one of the outstanding American writers. The Lottery is called her masterpiece and is famous for its gothic story. So far it has been widely studied and researched by scholars from the perspectives of its themes, images, environment, feminist ideas, and social impact. This paper will focus on exploring the theme of scapegoat in this story.
In the story, a traditional and mysterious rite is introduced and described. In the ritual, a victim or scapegoat will be selected to cleanse all the misfortunes or guilt and to bring back happiness and fortune for the community. The development of scapegoat goes through the whole story, eliciting the main idea and exposing social darkness.
This paper will analyze the theme of scapegoat from two levels. In the first level, the origin of scapegoat will be firstly explored from two aspects—the scapegoat archetype and the usage of it in literature works, followed by the analyses of the three stages of scapegoat. The first stage studies the necessity of the scapegoat’s existence; the second stage discusses the process of selecting the scapegoat; and the third stage puts forward the solution of tackling the scapegoat. In the second level, the paper will explore the meanings and social problems behind those three stages. The social and economic backgrounds will be presented in the first stage; the characteristics that typical scapegoats have in common will come to light in the second stage. And human nature and social problems will be revealed and scrupulously analyzed in the third stage.
Finally, the eternal and conflicting relationships between human beings’ fate and social environment will be further analyzed and discussed. And the dismal and unpleasant social problems will also be unveiled. So the analyses about the theme of scapegoat will not only enrich the perspectives appreciating this story but also remind readers of the same social problems and human weakness existing in the then social reality.
Key Words: The Lottery; scapegoat; social problems; harvest
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Shirley Jackson and her Works 1
1.2 Literature Review 1
1.3 Scapegoat in Literary Works 2
2 The Necessity of the Scapegoat 5
2.1 The History of Selecting a Victim 5
2.2 The Reasons of Choosing a Victim 5
3 The Process of Selecting the Scapegoat 8