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Outline/Essay thesis Essay

Outline
I. Setting

A) “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson: The setting of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” takes place June 27th on a warm, sunny day in a small town, between ten in the morning and noon, specifically in the village square between the post office and the bank. B) “The Destructors” by Graham Greene: The setting of Graham Greene’s “The Destructors” takes place in a post-war period in a London town, more specifically in a lot of an old man, Old Misery’s, home.

II. Irony

A) “The Lottery”: In this short story, the town’s inhabitants are gathered in the town square for the lottery drawing. The word “Lottery” may have the reader thinking that there is to be some type of prize to be collected for one person out of the many townspeople. Yet, the lottery depicted in this short story is more horrifying. Each person is required to pick a slip of paper from an old black box, and if a person receives a slip of paper that has a bold black dot on it, they are closed in on and stoned to death. B) “The Destructors”: In this short story, one area involving irony may be between the characters Blackie and Trevor. Blackie is the original leader of the boys’ small gang. He controls what is done and how it is executed. Trevor rarely speaks, only voting yes or no to the gang’s plans, up until he mentions the plan to destroy Old Misery’s home. Also, Trevor is the son of an architect. Old Misery’s house was built by a famous architect, so it is ironic that he’d want to destroy the home.

III. Symbols

A) “The Lottery”: One symbol found in this short story is the black box from which the slips of paper are pulled. The box itself is black, possibly representing the oncoming death of the one who pulls the slip of paper with the black dot on it. The box was said to be worn down, meaning it had been used for many years now; A tradition that the people in the town were not willing to break. B) “The Destructors”: Old Misery’s home is settled in a poverty and post-war stricken neighborhood, yet through the destruction stood his house, built by the famous architect Christopher Wren. Trevor knew who Wren was because the architect works with upper class people, being that he used to be one of them before the war took place.

Thesis

The short stories “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Destructors” by Graham Greene hold as many similarities as well as differences, starting with each story’s settings. In “The Lottery”, the setting is a small town of no more than 300 people. It is a warm and sunny day, and the townspeople, both old and young. Have gathered in the village square to take part in this town tradition. In “The Destructors”, the setting is in a poverty and post-war stricken neighborhood, in the lot of Old Misery’s home, where the gang of young boys gathered every day. Around the neighborhood, as well as the town, lie ruins of homes and other buildings. Other aspects that stood out in these two short stories were the use of irony. In “The Lottery”, one would expect the word “Lottery” to have a good meaning, as if they had won something beneficial.

Yet, the Lottery turned out to be more gruesome and inhumane than expected. In “The Destructors”, one of the most notable pieces of irony found was the switch of leadership roles between Blackie, the original gang leader, and Trevor, the quiet son of an architect. Trevor did not say much except when it came to voting on the gang’s doings, which usually required no more than a “yes” or “no”. A similarity that these two short stories had with one another were how they ended. Both stories did not end happily. Jackson’s “The Lottery” ended up with a woman being stoned to death by the entire townspeople, which included her children and her husband, as well as friends that had been made before the lottery had taken place. “The Destructors” ended with the gang successfully destroying Old Misery’s home after working diligently and skillfully to tear the house down from the inside.


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