Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis
“The Intoxicated” by Shirley Jackson
Card picked: Four of Spades
From: The Lottery, and other stories
Thoughts: An odd little story, although what else would I expect from Shirley Jackson?
A somewhat intoxicated man at a party seeks some quiet in the host’s kitchen. There, he meets their daughter Eileen. She’s seventeen. He struggles to come up with a topic to talk to her about. The default of “school” leads her to describe the paper that she’s writing about the downfall of humanity. She has developed a pretty grim view of the future. The man and, as we see later, Eileen’s father shrug off the impending doom of man with a sort of “kids will be kids” attitude.
First published in 1949, “The Intoxicated” is probably too early to reflect the youth activism that I associate with the 50s and 60, but I could be wrong about that. Eileen certainly reminded me of the some of the severe, serious high school activists I knew, whose parents were probably more interested in cracking a beer than in learning about ZPG or greenhouse gases.