Literature as a Protest: The Lottery and The Crucible Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


This paper agrees with the concept that “all literature is protest” this is because some literary works often reflect on one aspect of society that the author would like changed or even completely removed from the world.

The Lottery

For instance, when reading “the lottery” and the premise of characters continuing a barbaric tradition, it seemingly appears to be a critique of old traditions, practices and beliefs that society continues to follow at the present despite the fact that there is little in the way of sufficient justification as to why they should still be in use (Berne and Clark 675). For example, despite changes in social thought and the equal rights movement, there is still a considerable level of misogyny that exists in the world.

One of the primary reasons behind this is due to the fact that women are considered “the weaker sex” and, as such, are subject to various discriminatory practices in the form of being sexually harassed, being subject to lower wages as well as having to endure the discrimination in their workplace. The story of “the lottery” helps to shed light on the useless nature of these actions by showing that sometimes actions are done just because they have been done for a long period of time despite all logic dictating that they should have been stopped a long time ago. Thus, in the case of “the lottery” it can be seen that it is a form of protest against the practice of blindly following “tradition” without taking into consideration the full logic of the actions that you are undertaking.

The Crucible

The same can be said for the short play “the Crucible” wherein it is an apparent criticism against blind accusations without sufficient reasoning behind them. In the story, it is the fear mongering created by a few individuals that results in the spread of finger pointing and accusations being directed against various female members of a village as being “witches” (Tunc 266). The sheer illogical nature behind the actions of the story, after further research, shows that it is a parody of McCarthyism which was a process conducted during the height of the Cold War wherein numerous people were blindly accused as being communists by other people that were also accused which resulted in a considerable level of finger pointing in order to prove one’s innocence.

The end result was that numerous innocent people were accused of being Communists despite having no evidence aside from the statements of other people. It is this type of blind accusation that “the Crucible” parodies since it showcases that the reason behind the acts in the first place was nothing more than a few men in power attempting to push through their own agendas. Thus, “the Crucible” is a way in which the author depicts his ire and displeasure at the events that are occurring around him. It should be noted that since overt protests during this era would have caused more people to label the author as a communist, he chose a more subversive method in the form of a literary device. The end result is a piece that helps to showcase the hypocrisy and stupidity behind blind accusations and fear.


Based on what has been presented, it can be seen that literary works often reflect on one aspect of society that the author would like changed or even completely removed from the world.

Works Cited

Berne, Jennifer I., and Kathleen F. Clark. “Comprehension Strategy Use During Peer-Led Discussions Of Text: Ninth Graders Tackle “The Lottery.” Journal Of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 49.8 (2006): 674-686. Print

Tunc, Tanfer Emin. “The Healer And The Witch: Sexuality And Power In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.” Explicator 71.4 (2013): 266-270. Print

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