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Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour

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Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and Kate Chopin's The Story of an Hour

"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, and "The Story of the Hour" by Kate Chopin, both have similarities and differences when it comes to the elements of literature.  Particularly, when the authors use foreshadowing to manipulate the moods of the stories and add irony to cleverly deceive the reader. Both of these stories possess similarities and differences when it comes to their components of the story, specifically the authors' usage of elements of mood and the tone of irony.

     In Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery,' irony is a major theme. This story is about a town full of elitist snobs that are stuck on their tradition of a lottery, even though it is a grim ritual and rather detrimental to the people in the town. The characters are honoring a tradition that is handed down to them from former generations. The reader is led through the outwardly normal and charming little village, and is taken on a ride of ironic horror as they slowly grasp the annual fate of one the village?s inhabitants. The title ?The Lottery? implies a contest with a winner of some kind, like a sweepstakes. When in reality the winner is actually the loser or person that will die by stoning. At the beginning of this story, the main character, Mrs. Hutchinson, is in favor of the lottery. The atmosphere of the town is casual yet anxious. Mrs. Hutchinson arrives late because she ?clean forgot? what day it is. This seems quite impossib...

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...equential order of events. The imagery is vivid, but is it easy to understand and doesn?t confuse the reader. ?The Lottery? was not an adequate story. The foreshadowing was presented in an irksome fashion, and the language confused and baffled me. ?The Lottery? was difficult to follow, and I was unable to understand anything about it until I had completed the story. In closing, I feel that Kate Chopin did a superb job with ?The Story of an Hour? in reaching her audience on a level that made it simple to understand her story and to have a sense of perceptive knowledge of how the story would end.
Works Cited:

Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." The Harper Anthology of Fiction. Ed Sylvan Barnet. New York: HarperCollins, 1986. 862-868

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