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The Lottery Ticket Theme Analysis

Essay by laurenkks  •  June 8, 2018  •  Book/Movie Report  •  937 Words (4 Pages)  •  185 Views

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“The Lottery Ticket” Theme Analysis

By: Lauren Kim

The short story “The Lottery Ticket” written by Anton Checkov, is a story about the dangers of wealth as a wife and husband Ivan and Masha who’s reveries about winning the lottery escalate to the point where the comparison of their newfound dreams to their reality makes them unhappy instead of the opposite. The author teaches the reader that focusing on wealth does not result in happiness and instead, can cause dissatisfaction, selfishness, and broken relationships.

Although in the beginning of the story, the characters Ivan Dimitrich and his wife Masha seem to be happy and “...satisfied with (their) lot...” (pg 1), the potential prospects of the lottery ticket, caused them to become dissatisfied with their lives as they began to imagine the life that would result from winning the lottery. This is shown when Ivan begins to think about how his wife has “...grown elderly and plain...while he was still young, fresh, and healthy, and might well (get) married again.”(pg 4) He becomes unsatisfied with the very wife that he has built a family with and instead, begins believing that he deserves better. This lack of fullfillment moves on to other things as even though “...he was very .well satisfied with his lot…”(pg 1) before, his house begins to dull in comparison to his daydreams as he begins to take notice in things that he never thought of before. In his eyes, the house is now “...dark and small and lowpitched…” (pg 4) with rooms that are “...never swept...” (pg 4). This results in him believing that “One is simple forced to go out!” (pgs 3) His house symbolizes how Ivan’s outlook on his life on life has changed as he now is very unsatisfied with how he is living. His outlook on his day to day life as a person of middle class stature begins to change as well because once he realises the possibilities, he begins to see that “...the supper they had been eating was not doing them good, but lying heavy in their stomachs.” (pg 3) and imagines himself “...well fed, serene, and healthy…”(pg 2). Once he realises what his life is lacking because he did not win the lottery, he thinks to himself, “ I shall go and hang myself on the first aspen-tree!"(pg 4); however, he was not feeling fullfillment from believing that he won the lottery either since his thoughts were escalating and leading anger, hatred and distrust.  In the end, the wealth that could lead to so many possibilities, will not neccessarily lead to a more fullfilled life.

The lottery ticket and the chance for wealth also leads Masha and Ivan to become selfish, as they want to keep the prize money all to their own selves instead of fairly sharing it together like family would. Ivan begins to think about taking the ticket for himself  when he says to Masha “The ticket is yours, but if it were mine…” (pg 2) hinting at the fact that even though they are married and technically, their assets are to be combined, the money would belong solely to her. Ivan also begins to daydream about how he would use the money and states to his wife “I should go abroad, you know, Masha,” (pg 3) stating that he deserves to travel with the money when he has a family and other responsibilities. To this, Masha responds with “I should certainly go abroad too,” which proves that they are both thinking about using the money to their own selfish ends. Throughout the story, they barely mention or think about the two children that they have together as their selfish daydreams make them forget about one of the most important responsibilities in their lives.The selfishness that they exhibit is proof that the wealth will cause them to overlook the most important things in their lives.



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