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Literary Elements in The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay

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Would you believe that there was once a village where everyone would partake in a terrible event, but think it was innocent because of how they blindly followed a tradition? The short story, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson communicates this theme by showing how the villagers participate in a lottery every year. In life, there are people who follow tradition because the have to, or they are used to following without question. The author, Shirley Jackson was born on December 14, 1916 in San Francisco, California. In 1937, Shirley Jackson attended Syracuse University where she began to write short stories. She was famous for the short story, “The Lottery,” and her best seller novel, “The Haunting of Hill House”. Shirley Jackson was famous for writing in a supernatural genre. Later on, she married a Jewish man and moved into a conservative neighborhood. She died on December 14, 1916 in North Bennington, Vermont. “The Lottery” is a profoundly ironic story where the winners really lose. The village has its own unique lottery. The winner of the game has a card with a black dot. This means the surrounding villager will stone them to death! Shirley Jackson develops her theme of the danger of blindly following tradition in her short story, "The Lottery" through the use of symbolism, mood, and irony.
The black dot represents the winner of the lottery. It is an ironic symbol because a normal lottery is supposed to express a happy and festive time. The villager’s lottery is the promise of death. “Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it” (Jackson 3). Bill Hutchinson wife’s traumatic destiny by how she did not want to lose the lottery. “Indeed she focuses on the unde...


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Works Cited

Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. N.p.: n.p., 1948. The Lottery (1948). Web. 14 Jan. 2014. . Made on 1/23/2005 7:58:04 AM
Hicks, Jennifer. "Overview of 'The Lottery.'" Short Stories for Students. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 21 Jan. 2014
Schaub, Danielle. "Shirley Jackson's Use of Symbols in 'The Lottery..'" Journal of the Short Story in English 14 (Spring 1990): 79-86. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Thomas J. Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Trudeau. Vol. 187. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Literature Resource Center. Web. 21 Jan. 2014
Understanding the Symbols in The Lottery. Elton Gahr, 5 Jan. 2012. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. .
Shirley Jackson. N.p., 2009. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. .



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