The Big Read IV: The Lottery and Other Stories -- Shirley Jackson "The Villager"

Lottery "The Villager": In which Miss Clarence doesn't deny being Mrs. Roberts.

• Love this:

"She went into Whelan's and sat at the counter, putting her copy of the Villager down on the counter next to her pocketbook and The Charterhouse of Parma, which she had read enthusiastically up to page fifty and only carried now for effect."

• And this:

"She stopped and rested on the third landing, and lit another one of her cigarettes so as to enter the apartment effectively."

• Another Mr. Harris!  No first name, though.

• This was another one in which someone pretends to be someone else.  Why did she do it?  Embarrassment at being caught?  Because she felt silly explaining the situation?  Because she wanted to feel, even for a few moments, like she had followed her dream of dancing?

• I got the feeling that she had mixed feelings about the other residents of the Village -- that she wanted to be one of them, that she wanted her old friends from home to think of her as one of them, but that she also wasn't all that comfortable with their way of life.  The starving artist lifestyle didn't work for her -- it sounded, from the very beginning of the story, like she moved to New York with the idea of becoming a dancer, but didn't necessarily try to make a go of it.  She liked the idea, but not the reality, maybe?


Other reader/bloggers:

Gail at Original Content
Heidi at Adventures in Multiplicity



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