Monday, July 9, 2012

Archery Bunker

I was in 9th grade when our English teacher decided it was time for us to stop diagramming sentences and read a short story.  Apparently, she chose one by picking a slip out of a hat, and we wound up reading "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson.

Shirley was to write four more stories for The New Yorker; today, this quintet of tales is known as the Jackson 5.

I would have made that joke in 9th grade, but the timing would have been off.

If you've never read it, it's a good one and I can recommend it to you and can even hook you up with a link right to the June 26, 1948  New Yorker where you can read it right off the original pages!  Just click here and away you go!

But I thought that people had forgotten "The Lottery" until last evening, when I heard a radio dramatization of it on The Big Broadcast on WAMU 88.5 FM from long ago, and it reminded me that just a few short weeks ago, every teenager in America was lined up to see the movie version of "The Hunger Games."  No, I haven't read that book, nor did I see the movie, but enough people who have experienced the book, the movie and the Lottery tale have said what I suspected: the setups for both stories are very similar, although the endings are quite different.

If you're a school kid and have finished your summer reading, I urge to you to read "The Lottery" and compare it to the "Hunger" book.  Of course, if you're a school kid, I urge you to subscribe to The New Yorker and read every single issue from 1925 on.  All those back editions are yours free to read online as a subscriber, and you will learn so much about everything that your grades will improve exponentially, your allowance will treble, and your newly-expanded vocabulary will help you vault to the top of the SAT standings.  

And, that person you've had your romantic eye on since 8th grade will fall helplessly, hopelessly under your captivating spell.  And, my friends, that's what's called winning the Lottery the right way!

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