Evil And Charm
Evil and charm are considered by many people to be very different things. It is not often that it is thought that evil and charm coexist together. Evil is defined to be; morally bad, or wicked, while charms definition is; a trait that fascinates, allures or delights. According to British author Brian Masters “evil is something you recognize immediately you see it: it works through charm.” Masters’ argument can be backed up through two pieces of literature, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and William Faulkner’s “A Rose For Emily.” Both stories display evil and charm coexisting together in a society through setting, character’s attitudes and symbolism.
“The Lottery” is a somewhat sick, twisted story that sets the reader up with the right and then pops them one with the left. To begin, the setting makes the reader feel all warm and good inside, and gives the reader the feeling that the story is going to be a cheerful one. “The morning of June 27 was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” (Jackson 229) Here, the author shows that summer is just beginning, and that with summer, life is just beginning. The flowers are blossoming, the grass is a rich shade of green, and the town’s people are gathering in the square between the post office and the bank. The descriptions of the town are very misleading to the reader in terms of what is taking place. The charm of the town delights the reader at the start and gives the reader a comforting feeling about what is going to happen. The evil of the town is hidden behind a mask of charm.
The characters in “The Lottery” are very misleading to the reader in terms of character traits. The characters attitudes towards the lottery are very upbeat and display that the characters have no problem with the fact that they are attending a lottery. The fact that a lottery is taking place leads many to believe that there is a chance to win money for free. Where in this case it is the chance to kill someone by stoning him or her to death. Throughout the whole story the town’s peoples attitudes are lackadaisical; they don’t care about the lottery, and seem to only want it over with. “The whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o’clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon diner.” (Jackson 229) Here it is seen that the lottery something insignificant and meaningless to the towns people. Evil is definitely displayed here, as the event that is being organized and will take place is considered to be morally bad. The charm of the people involved shines through brightly in character traits that are displayed. It is displayed that the persons involved in the event are excited to be there and delightful towards the fact that they are about to kill a person.
Another example of “The Lottery” displaying evil and charm coexisting together is the symbolism that is used in the story. The black box is the central idea or theme in the story. It symbolizes at first some type of mystery, but reading further into the story it is realized that it is synonymous with doom. The box is symbolic of the towns people’s fear of change, it is old and splintered showing that the people of the town would rather cling to what is familiar rather than change, symbolizing the traditions of the community. No one in the town questions the box, but accept it as a part of their lives. The box considered by the towns people to be charming, but has a direct link to the evil in the town as it determines who will be sacrificed in order for the people to be happy.
Another story in which evil and charm coexist is “A Rose For Emily” written by William Faulkner. “A Rose for Emily” is told by a nameless narrator describing the life of a pathetic woman, Emily. The setting of the story is seen through the view of