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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Short Story Analysis: THE NECKLACE by Guy de Maupassant


by Guy de Maupassant


II. SYNOPSIS /SUMMARY

A young woman named Mathilde Loisel is married to a little clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction. They live a poor life, which Mathilde hates. One day, they are invited to a grand ball where the rich people will be. Mathilde buys a new gown from her husband’s savings intended to buy him a gun for shooting larks, for his hobby. To go with that very elegant gown, she borrows a diamond necklace from her friend Madame Forestier. At the ball, Mathilde is prettier than any woman there. When they arrive home after that ball, she discovers that the borrowed necklace is gone. She and her husband try to find it, but are not able to, so they buy another one exactly the same, for thirty-four thousand francs, from its original price of forty francs; such a very big amount of money for the couple. They use up Mathilde’s husband's inheritance, borrowed from usurers, and they work odd jobs for ten years just to make up for that amount. After a decade, Mathilde sees Madame Forestier by chance, and after those years, finally confesses that the necklace she returned was a replacement. Madame Forestier is shocked, and tells her that the necklace she lent her was fake, worth at most five hundred francs.

III. SHORT STORY ELEMENTS

A. CHARACTERS

There are three main characters in this short story:

1.   Mathilde Loisel, the wife
2.   The little clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction, the husband
3.   Madame Forestier, the friend who lent Mathilde a diamond necklace

B. PLOT

a)  Introduction

Mathilde, the main woman character in this short story, is being described as unhappy because of her and her husband’s being poor.


b)  Rising Action

The complication starts when she and her husband are invited to a rich people’s ball. She buys a new gown, and to go with it, she borrows an elegant diamond necklace from her friend Madame Forestier.


c)  Climax

The peak of this short story iswhen Mathilde discovers that she lost the diamond necklace.


d) Falling action


 To replace the lost diamond necklace, Mathilde and her husband buy another one exactly the same, for thirty-four thousand francs, from its original price of forty francs, such a very big amount of money for the couple. The eighteen thousand francs was inherited by her husband from his father, and the rest of the amount he borrows from various sources.

e)      Denouement

       The problem resolves itself, though in a negative manner, when Mathilde and Madame Forestier meet again after ten years, and the latter tells the former that the diamond necklace she borrowed was fake.


C. SETTING

a)  place – in Paris


b)  time- sometime in the 18th century


c)  weather conditions - good


d)  social conditions- Mathilde Loisel and her husband were poor

e)  mood or atmosphere – Mathilde is not contented of her poor life. When she loses the borrowed diamond necklace, she and her husband become anxious. Then they buy a new one to replace the lost one, and they live a stressful life in order to pay their debts  incurred to buy such necklace.


D. POINT OF VIEW

The Point of View used in this short story is the Omniscient Limited - The author tells the story in third person (using pronouns they, she, he, it, etc).  We know only what the character knows and what the author allows him/her to tell us. We can see the thoughts and feelings of characters if the author chooses to reveal them to us.


E. LITERARY DEVICES

In my opinion, the literary devices used in this story are Symbolism and Irony. For Symbolism, the borrowed necklace symbolizes being wealthy, which Mathilde has been longing to be. While wearing it, she feels so superior. Meanwhile, for Irony, such borrowed necklace looks so sophisticated but is actually fake.

F. THEME

For me, the theme Things are not always as they appear to be and also Be content on what you have are applicable to this story.


G. CONFLICT

The conflict here are of Man vs. Himself, and Man vs. Society—Mathilde has been struggling as a poor woman because of her desire to “fit in” the society. --ARV

A Simple Analysis of "Flower Shop (by Arturo Rotor)"

I. FLOWER SHOP
By Arturo Rotor
II. SYNOPSIS

         This short story is narrated by a persona who writes for a magazine. One morning, he/she goes to the local flower shop owned by Letty and her father, to cover some incidents that are worthy as news features. While the persona is in such flower shop, he/she encounters different customers who have various selections on their choices of flowers, though most of them order for a certain Margarita Martinez who is celebrating her birthday that day.

III. REVIEW

         Though the aforementioned short story’s writer used words which are easy to comprehend, I had to read it three times to be able to fully understand the entire story and to look for symbols.. In my opinion, this is indeed a story that has an element of Symbolism overpowering the other elements, since the Setting is simply that flower shop, the Plot and the Theme are plain, and the Characters do not have quite significant roles.

         The different varieties of  flowers depicted here symbolize the different personalities (souls) of people. It is stated in the 7th paragraph of page 255 that “flowers speak language of soul.” For me, such flowers, which are truly different in color, size, appearance, are similar to people’s innate personalities or souls.

         In this story, the last customer is a man who orders cheap flowers, worth ten centavos, in an expensive box, worth ten pesos, because, according to him: “People will see the expensive box. They will say, why, it must contain something very expensive inside, too. The expensive covering fools them, don’t you see?” --ARV

A Lesson Plan on An Interactive Language Learning Activity Using the Story "The Unicorn in the Garden (by James Thurber)" As the Focal Point for Analysis


Lessons: 1. Storytelling
                2. Noun replacement – Synonyms and Antonyms

Level of students: 4th year college

Material Used: The Unicorn in the Garden by James Thurber

Duration of the Lessons : 3 meetings

Flow of the Lesson:

1. As a preview, the teacher will show a slide presentation of a unicorn, then of a booby, of a booby-hatch, of a lily, of a strait-jacket, then of a jay bird, each in five different angles/slides, with The Unicorn Song (Appendix 1) by Irish Rovers, in the background. The last slide of such presentation will be the vocabulary.

Vocabulary:
1. Unicorn - mythical one-horned horse: a mythical animal usually depicted as a white horse with a single straight spiraled horn growing from its forehead
2. Booby - a person regarded as stupid
3. Booby-hatch - An institution for the mentally ill.
4. Lily - a plant and flower of the genus Lilium, endogenous bulbous plants, having a regular perianth of six colored pieces, six stamens, and a superior three-celled ovary.
5. Strait-jacket - A long-sleeved jacket-like garment used to bind the arms tightly against the body as a means of restraining a violent patient or prisoner.
6. Jay bird - 1.Any of various often crested birds of the genera Garrulus, Cyanocitta, Aphelocoma, and related genera within the family Corvidae, often having a loud, harsh call. Also called jaybird. 2.An overly talkative person; a chatterbox.
2. Handouts of the short story The Unicorn in the Garden by James Thurber (Appendix 2)will be distributed to the students, for them to read, two lines per student, until the end of the story. The teacher will introduce such reading activity by reading the first two lines herself.

3. An activity sheet will then be given to the students to accomplish.


Listening Component: Listening to the individual reading of the story, also to the background song during the slideshow presentation

Reading Component: Individual reading of the story

Writing and Grammar Component: The replacement of nouns underlined by the teacher. The corresponding grammar resulting to such changes should be followed.

Speaking Component: The students will be interacting/ brainstorming with group mates.

Vocabulary:
The words unicorn, booby, booby-hatch, lily, strait-jacket, and jay bird will be defined.


Closure: As a homework and study guide, the students will practice singing the song "The Unicorn Song," and will identify ten nouns in the lyrics and replace them with nouns that are either synonyms or antonyms. --ARV

A SONG ANALYSIS : "MAGELLAN"




I.  MAGELLAN
Sung by Yoyoy Villame (RIP)

On March sixteen fifteen hundred twenty one
When Philippines was discovered by Magellan
They were sailing day and night
Across the big ocean
Until they saw a small Limasawa island.

Magellan landed in Limasawa at noon

The people met him very welcome on the shore
They did not understand
The speaking they have done
Because Kastila gid at Waray-Waray man

When Magellan landed in Cebu City

Rajah Humabon met him they were very happy
All people were baptized
And built the church of Christ
And that's the beginning of our Catholic life

But Lapu-Lapu met him on the shore
And drive Magellan to go back home
When Magellan visited in Mactan
To Christianize them everyone

Then Magellan got so mad
Ordered his men to camouflage
"Mactan Island we could not grab
Cause Lapu-Lapu is very hard"

Then the battle began at dawn

Bolos and spears versus guns and cannons
When Magellan was hit on his neck
He stumble down and cried and cried

"Oh mother, mother, I am sick

Call the doctor very quick
Doctor, Doctor shall I die
Tell my Mama do not cry
Tell my Mama do not cry
Tell my Mama do not cry"

That's the end of Magellan in the island of Mactan long time ago ladies and gentlemen…



II.  SUMMARY

          The above famous song is all about the voyage of Magellan who, in search of the Spice Islands, landed in Limasawa, and ‘discovered’  the Philippines. That was the start of the spread of Christianity in our country.  Many Filipinos, except for Lapu lapu and his native men, welcomed Magellan and his Spanish troop. Lapu lapu and company staged a war because they did not want the Spaniards to take over their turf, Mactan Islands. The ending of the song was composed of the lines of a popular nursery rhyme.


III. REVIEW

         The lyrics are actually lines and stanzas of a poem. However, without the jolly background music, the overall lyrics will sound less interesting.

          Over all, the poem/lyrics had a meaningful historical gist, even if some lines had grammatical errors, like (but I believe that these “errors” were made so as to have a good laugh):

1. When Philippines was discovered by Magellan – should have the article “the” before “Philippines”
2. Until they saw a small Limasawa island – the article “a” should be “the”
3. The people met him very welcome on the shore – awkward sentence construction
4. Rajah Humabon met him they were very happy – should have a punctuation mark (; or ‘ or .) or the  
     conjunction “and” between “Rajah Humabon met him” and “they were very happy”
5.  And that's the beginning of our Catholic life – should have been “that was” instead of “that is”
6.  And drive Magellan to go back home – should have been “drove” instead of “drive”
7. When Magellan visited in Mactan – the preposition “in” is not needed here
8.  To Christianize them everyone – awkward if without the punctuation mark ; in between “them” and “everyone”
9. Cause Lapu-Lapu is very hard- “Cause” is the short cut of “because,” so it should have been ‘Cause
10. Doctor, Doctor shall I die – should have the question mark at the end

IV. CONCLUSION

          Despite the ten errors in grammar, the song is still quite entertaining, mainly because of its upbeat melody, as well as the singer’s unique and innate humorous style in singing.  And, most of all, disregarding such errors, the summary somehow helps the youngsters know a very important part of our country’s history.

V.  RECOMMENDATION

          After I resigned as a fulltime High School English teacher, I was hired to substitute a Grade 4 Civics teacher for three months. When our lessons were about the Spanish colonization, I decided to play a video-cd of the above song right after our film viewing on Magellan at the AVRoom. The students really had fun singing and dancing to Yoyoy Villame’s upbeat songs. I played it three times, and the meeting after, we had a recap on the film via question-and-answer. Most of the students remembered and liked the song better than the film.
          I hereby recommend this song as an ice-breaker during a film viewing activity in the intermediate years, when the topic in Civics reaches the Spanish colonization. So as not to confuse the students, a short explanation regarding the grammar may be done prior to the playing of the said song. Thekids will truly enjoy the singing and dancing to this merry song while learning remarkable facts about our very own Philippine History. --ARV



SOURCES:
           1. SONG :  www.opmpinoy.com/opm-magellan-lyrics-11063.html
           2.  VIDEO -  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-xSgQcYPmQ&feature=player_embedded#at=23





A Personal Essay: It Pays to Do Your Best in Everything


        Every single thing you do at any given time should be done with all your might so as to get the best results. Whether it is a task pertaining to your studies, goals in life, job, household duties, or personal responsibilities, it is most ideal that you really do your best in doing such task’s steps even if the starting step can be difficult.  As the famous saying goes, “No pain, no gain.” Oftentimes it is just in the beginning that difficulty is present. Eventually, the procedure will be smooth and you will get accustomed to its entirety.
          On the other hand, though the overall procedure in a certain task is very easy that you may not regard the outcome as worthy of attention, this finished task must still be in your list of accomplishments. In general, both difficult and easy tasks must form part of your life, since these actually put “spice” in living. Literally, if there is no spice in cooking, food will lack taste. In this connection, a life without “spice” seems empty. Anyway, in order to have a lighter load for all of your hard tasks, you can follow the following five tips so that you will not have much difficulty in accomplishing each task:
          First, a particular task’s set-up should be planned carefully. For instance, if it is your goal to graduate within the next two years or so, you must have a concrete breakdown of what subjects to take every semester, and summer, if applicable. Then, you should have self-discipline to not do anything that will become a hindrance in this goal. Most importantly, you must put your heart into it, because a half-baked process typically does not do any good.
          Second, once the set-up has been pinpointed, you should be firm in undertaking each step under it. No matter what obstacle or temptation comes your way, this firmness will help you a lot in reaching your goal. If a friend invites you to an overnight party that will make you absent from classes the next day, you must have the courage to say no. Otherwise, there is a big chance of this wrongdoing pulling down your goal.     
          Third, always remember that a wrong move does not necessarily mean a bad result. In fact, sometimes there is a hidden “good” in a bad decision. However, as much as possible, you must ensure that this bad move does not happen again, because not all negativities have goodness in them.
          Fourth, be serious in undergoing any task even if it seems impossible to attain. Think of every step as a challenge, and the end-result as your prize. If the first man on the moon thought of his task as unreachable, he would not have done what he did. Similarly, getting that much-coveted diploma is not viable if you are not serious in this goal.
          Fifth and last, if you fail in the total procedure, do not despair. More so, do not give up. There is still a next time to do better.
          All in all, each mentioned tip can be maximized or used to the fullest if you try to do your best at all times. Even if you frequently end up failing in most tasks, it really does not matter if you see to it that you do everything with all your might. Likewise, always bear in mind that it pays if you do your best in everything that you do. Failures may not make you get some of your desired goals, but failing principally makes you a wiser, tougher, and better person.  --ARV

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Original Poem: "You"


You, you promised to take good care of me
You promised to be by my side, today, tomorrow, eternally
You, you didn’t allow me to work in a company
Because with you, I would always be stable financially

But a month after our 19th anniversary,
you left me for somebody twenty years your junior,
somebody who, you said, is smarter.
Somebody who, unlike me, is superior

Now I realize that people make promises that can be broken
It is only God who makes promises that will definitely be fulfilled
Now, I don’t want to be affected by problems
because I have God as my shield

Don’t you know that I lived aimlessly after you went?
And if not for our children,
I would have jumped from a building,
to finally end my suffering


But now I realize, why would I cry for you and end my life,
now that I fully trust God who makes promises that will definitely be fulfilled?

Now, I don’t want to be affected by problems
because I have God as my shield

Now I feel so safe and contented -- ARV

APPLYING SOME CRITICAL THEORIES IN ANALYZING AND INTERPRETING LITERATURE TO THE FILM "MALENA"




FORMALIST CRITICISM

What universal truths are revealed in the film?

         According to the book Universal Truths: A Proposition for The Pursuit Of Planetary Unity for the Next Millennium, by Nelson J. Parnell, the definitions of the words ‘universal’ and ‘truth’ are the following: “Universal: 1. of characteristic of, or affecting all or the whole 2. applicable everywhere or in all cases 3. used or understood by all 4. present or existing everywhere. Truth: 1. the true or actual state of a matter 2. conformity with fact or reality 3. a verified or indisputable fact 4. the state of character of being true (Parnell 7).”

         Basing on my perception on the aforementioned definitions of “universal truth”, and also on my understanding from the handouts on Critical Theory, “A formalist perspective would typically include observations about the relations among the characters…(2077),” I highly believe that the universal truths revealed in the film are: 1.) humans are sexual beings. Renato was a 12-year-old boy whose sexual awakening is focused on his lust for Malena, 2.) the predominant system of society is patriarchal, as most specifically shown how Renato’s father is the one who should always be followed no matter what, among others, 3.) war is not good, not just because the soldiers get separated from their respective wives, but also because of the unnecessary physical and moral destruction inflicted on affected places, 4.) majority of women typically despise very beautiful and sexy women, as what all of the women feel toward Malena, 5.) men look at women as inferior to them and also as sex objects. Many men around Malena are married, and they obviously lust for her even within close view of their wives. Meanwhile, all of the featured men look at Malena only as a sex object, and not as a wife for life, 6.) women who are pressed for money can resort to prostitution, as what Malena does when she sells her body to the German soldiers, 7.) many people, especially men, regard a widow as sex-starved, as what they see in Malena, and talk about around town, when they hear about her husband’s death, 8.) the rich trample the poor, as what the old lawyer does to Malena, after he represents her in court, and she does not have money to pay him. He forces her to marry him as her payment. He takes advantage of her helpless situation.

What is achieved by telling the story from the point of view of Renato?

         The handouts on Critical Theory says: Other aspects of the story of interest from a formalist perspective would include the writer’s use of first-person narration, especially the way the narrator’s thoughts are made known to the reader…A formalist critic might ask what difference would it make if the story were told in the third person, or if the narrator’s ideas were to be voiced in direct dialogue ( 2078)

         By telling the story of the movie “Malena” from the point of view of Renato, it is telling the whole story from a formalistic view or from the firsthand experiences as narrated by the mentioned male lead character, Renato, as if the viewers are looking straight from his eyes. In this regard, the website http://writinghood.com/writing/the-advantages-for-first-person-writing/ (accessed on March 3, 2011) declares that “This style is an immediate one, giving us a first-hand experience of the events… This makes the story more focused, since it is from one direct point of view.” On the other hand, the same website posted the disadvantages, and one of these is focused on the writer, and can also refer to a movie writer: “It is often perceived as harder to write in the first person than the third…you are not all knowing and can’t delve into other characters minds…This means there is little room to see another character’s perspective. And this can lead to… an unreliable account.”

PSYCHOLOGICAL/PSYCHOANALYTIC CRITICISM


How does the film “Malena” display the unconscious element of Renato’s mind?

         It is stated in the handouts about Critical Theory that: According to Freud, the unconscious harbors forbidden wishes and desires, often sexual, that are in conflict with an individual’s or society’s moral standards. Freud explains that although the individual represses or “censors” these unconscious fantasies and desires, they became “displaced” or distorted in dreams and other forms of fantasy, which serve to disguise their real meaning (2085).

         Connecting the above insights from Freud to “Malena,” the said film displays the unconscious element of Renato’s mind through his sexual dreams while asleep, his sex-filled daydreams whilst awake, and his flashes of imagination which feature Malena as naked. Such vivid scenes in the dreams and the imagination of a 12-year-old boy depict the power of the human mind most especially in the psychological and psychoanalytic aspects that have already been observed by experts even way, way back.

         In an old book titled Dramatic Essays of the Neoclassic Age, published in 1947, it was featured that “The psychologic critic was primarily concerned with the question why some things are pleasant and some are unpleasant, and, consequently, out of psychological criticism grew what we know as aesthetics (Adams xiii).” True enough, because fast forward from that time in the late 1940’s to these contemporary times, both pleasant and unpleasant sex-filled scenes are equally accepted if these are “tastefully done for art’s sake” or when they are really needed in the concerned movie or story.

MYTHOLOGICAL/ ARCHETYPAL CRITICISM


What religious tradition might the story of Malena be compared to? Why?

         For me, Malena’s character in the movie can be compared to Mary Magdalene in the bible, or Magdalena in many languages. Curiously, “Malena” is a shortened term of “Magdalena.” On one hand, there is a part in the movie wherein Renato’s mother has him exorcised in the church, thinking he is possessed by demons. Speaking of exorcism, it is defined as “…the practice of evicting or destroying demons or other evil spiritual entities which are supposed to have "possessed”… a person, a building, etc.. The concept is very ancient and is still part of the belief system of many religions,” by http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Exorcism (accessed March 4, 2011).

         In my opinion, the entire story of Malena might be compared to the religious tradition of exorcism, although there are no literal demons in this movie, but there are indeed “demons” in the people’s hearts and minds because of their hatred toward Malena who has not done them anything wrong. It is so bad of them to judge her, especially that she never speaks to them (she barely utters a word). And since such people have these “demons” in them, they have to be “exorcised” not directly by a priest who performs real exorcism, but by themselves, with or without guidance from the priest, by attending mass regularly and by following God’s commandments. All in all, they should open their eyes that hating Malena for her beauty and talking bad of her in her presence will not do them any good, but respecting her (even if they do not really like her) will be good for everybody, for Malena, and for God.

SOCIOLOGICAL/MARXIST CRITICISM AND FEMINIST CRITICISM

How are the relations between Malena and the men, or those between Malena and the women, presented in the film? What roles do men and women assume and perform and with what consequences?

         The relations between Malena and the men are presented in the film as something unequal, with the men being superior, and lustful, over her. Truly, the roles that men and women assume and perform in the film are clearly unequal, with the women as inferior from men, because of the patriarchal society the setting has. The men overpower the women, even their wives. This scenario has always been frowned upon by the United Nations that says “violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women… whether occurring in public or in private life (WHO 239). With regards to violence, the movie “Malena” shows great physical violence when the women beat Malena up and cut her hair in front of many men who do not help her out; in fact, these men enjoy watching her sexy body in front of them. Meanwhile, the mental suffering as a form of violence is inflicted on Malena by both the men and the women in the movie. To all of these, the consequences are the movies’ unbalanced way of living, with the men as the decision-makers and as highly superior to women.                
                                                                                                                                                  --ARV

References:
1. Handouts on Critical Theory
2. Books:
.Adams, Henry H. Dramatic Essays of the Neoclassic Age. New York: Columbia University Press. 1947. Xiii.
Parnell, Nelson J. Universal Truths: A Proposition for the Pursuit of Planetary Unity for the Next Millennium. Illinois: Lumen-us Publications Illinois. 2007. 7.
3. Fact sheet:
World Health Organization’s Media Centre. Violence Against Women.November 2009. Fact sheet N239.
4. Internet:
The Advantages for First Person Writing. 20 January 2009. Writinghood. 3 March 2011.
Exorcism – Definition. Copyright 2010. WordIQ.com. 4 March 2011.

A Reader-Response Criticism of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

  When I first read up to the middle part of the “The Lottery,” I never sensed anything wrong.  Thus, I had an initial opinion that it was all about an ordinary lottery. However, towards its end, I sensed that something was not right, although I could not pinpoint what. Hence, I read it again, and started to underline the specific parts which I knew had something to do directly with the story’s negative touch, most especially the line Because so much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded… Due to the word “ritual,” I knew something was just not right. But since I still could not grasp exactly the whole story, I read it again, and that third time, my emotions started to rise, and I focused on these emotions actively, giving direct meaning to what was mentioned in R. S. Crane’s book Critics and Criticism “Since emotions are produced, not from mere opinions, but from opinions actively entertained (Crane 57)…” 


          Furthermore, I found myself reacting differently to the line said by the character Old Man Warner: Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon’… It was then clear to me that the lottery was directly connected to the villagers’ successful planting and harvesting of crops. While reading on the third instance, I made inferences, filled in gaps, and made interpretive decisions in the exact terms pockets full of stones/ planting and rain/ piles of stones/ ritual/ black box/ square/ post office/ bank/ school/ three hundred people/ tractors/ taxes/ square dances/ teen club/ Halloween program and had descriptive and figurative imagery as my bases for my inferential guesses regarding each term’s major role in the story. 


          I responded positively to the main character Mr. Summers even if the macabre angle already became clear to me. He was just doing his job as administrator of the lottery. Nevertheless, I felt bad for all of the villagers for having that ritual. Concurrently, I also felt scornful for those few who had the desire of ending the lottery but would not do anything to do so. "They do say," Mr. Adams said to Old Man Warner… "that over in the north village they're talking of giving up the lottery." And also this line "Some places have already quit lotteries," Mrs. Adams said. I strongly believe that those lines showed such few people’s desire to end the lottery, referring that they should follow what the others have already done. Subsequently, with regard to the lottery winner, Mrs. Hutchinson, I felt pity for her though she was considered a hero by her fellow villagers for sacrificing her life for the good of all. 


         The speaker or the narrator did a good job in slowly enfolding the morbid twist in the plot even if it took me three reading times to be able to finally grasp its creepy entirety. On one hand, the places in the text that caused me to do serious thinking were the description of the setting: The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. Meaning, the village had full capability of having a good harvest, thus the highly possible scrapping of that ritual. Meanwhile, the line Every year…Mr. Summers began talking again about a new box, but… the subject was allowed to fade off without anything's being done. The villagers seemed not very interested in making the lottery better, meaning, there was a chance that nobody in that village was a hundred percent agreeable to their ritual, even if it has always been believed to bring in a good harvest yearly. However, in the line …but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box, it made it clear that majority of those in that village wanted the ritual to continue. 

          Lastly, as a reader, I typically read literary work more than once because I cannot immediately get the full meanings of the figurative context at first. Plus, I believe in the opinion “The creative writer does the same as the child at play. He creates a world of fantasy which he takes very seriously…while separating it sharply from reality (Lodge 36).” Other kids sharply understand children’s stories right away while others need to re-read them. I am like the latter kids, I have to re-read. Then, my reading gets clearer the second time, and clearest the third, or more, time. In this regard, I account for the differences by underlining the words or lines which I feel have direct connections to the overall essentiality. All in all, I try my best to pattern my reading to what the book Reader-Response Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism mentions:              
             Reading reflects the structure of experience to the extent that we must suspend            
             the ideas and attitudes that shape our own personality before we can
             experience the unfamiliar world of the literary text. But, during this process,  
             something happens to us. This “something” needs to be looked at in detail,  
             especially as the incorporation of the unfamiliar is labeled as the identification of            
             the reader with what he reads (Tompkins 65).

         As a believer of the various local lotteries myself, not only for end-result of giving a much better life to the winners and their respective families but also for the different charitable institutions that benefit from the ticket sales, I am aware that as I was reading the story, I put myself into the shoes of the characters, being excited for them to win, during the first time I read the story. But as the plot’s creepiness manifested itself in my two subsequent readings, the aforementioned excitement turned into my being sorry for them. Conclusively, I strongly believe that the involved story, “The Lottery…first published on June 26, 1948, issue of The New Yorker… Written the same month it was published… is ranked today as "one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature (Wikipedia)” really deserves the said recognition. --ARV


References:
1. Photocopied handouts
2. Books:
Crane, Ronald S. Critics and Criticism. Chicago: The University of Chicago                
             Press. 1957. 57
           
Lodge, David. 20th Century Literary Criticism. London: Longman Group Limited.     
            1972. 36.

Tompkins, Jane P. Reader-Response Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism.               
            USA: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1980. 65

3. Internet:

The Lottery. 27 January 2011 . Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 29 January 2011
             <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lottery>