Essay PreviewMore ↓
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a great short story. It focuses on a small village that has a “lottery” every year. This lottery is a ritual that has been passed down since the founders of the village. Everyone participates, but it is not clear in the beginning what happens when someone wins the lottery. It keeps you reading to find out what happens.
Jackson used irony to great effect in this story. The fact that the story is called “The Lottery” is ironic as the winner doesn’t win anything at all. Everyone has a preconceived idea that winning the lottery is a great thing and something that they want to happen to them. Winning the lottery in this story means being stoned to death and it is not the outcome anyone imagined.
Jackson foreshadowed events to come when she described the children stacking rocks early in the story. When you first read it this detail doesn’t mean much. It is disregarded as just children playing. Later when the stones are used to stone Mrs. Hutchinson you remember the children stacking the stones and you get the ‘ding’ sound that goes off in your head.
The style of the story made you feel like this was informal. The interactions between the villagers seemed normal and what was expected from a small village. It never let on to the atrocity that eventually would come. It wasn’t until late in the story when Mrs. Hutchinson was starting to protest that you felt something bad was going to happen.
The setting of this village was great as well. You could see this little village with all the villagers gathering round for this lottery. The descriptions she used about the village made you feel upbeat as it was a bright sunny summer day and something good was in the air as everyone was gathering. The setting ties in with the foreshadowing of the events as you never expect what is going to happen early in the story.
I think that I can learn from Jackson’s use of foreshadowing. She uses it to great effect and it really hits you when actually see what is happening.
How to Cite this Page
"Analysis of Shirley Jackson's Short Story, The Lottery." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Nov 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ... When the story first opens up, the introductory scene that opens the story up includes children gathering stones and running to the destination where the lottery takes place. According to Linda Wagner-Martin’s journal, “The Lottery by Shirley Jackson”, she explains that the children running around provides a calm and peaceful vibe to the story. She also explains that bringing the children into the description creates a poignancy not only for the death of Tessie, the mother, but for the sympathy the crowd gives to her youngest son, Dave.... [tags: The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, Short story]
1206 words (3.4 pages)
- ... This is the first use of foreshadowing, giving the reader expectations that nothing could go wrong on such a beautiful day. Right off the bat, Jackson leaves the reader to question the reasoning of why, " Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example"(242). The reasoning behind the little boys gathering rocks is left for the reader to later find out. The men " stood together, away from the pile of stones"(243) hinting towards the idea that the stones aren't something you would want to be near.... [tags: prize, lucky, black box]
546 words (1.6 pages)
- ... Summers is the great one to conduct the lottery. The lottery is run by Joe Summers, with his assistant Mr. Graves. Joe Summers seems to have some power in the village because he conducts all of the social events. “The lottery was conducted as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities” (Jackson 373). Joe Summers almost completely controls the lottery. Before he comes to the lottery, children run, joke, and collect the stones.... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]
1227 words (3.5 pages)
- ... The husbands are gather in a group having small talk about taxes, farming crops, and exchanging jokes. Lastly, the writer discussing the length of the lottery. The lottery in this village lasts two hours giving enough time for villagers to “get home for noon dinner” (1). To the reader new to this short story, this would seem like a harmless prize winning lottery. The reader will knowingly be lured into the vicious stoning. To fully understand this story, it has to be read more than once. The second or third time around, most readers begin to see how the writer used irony and symbolism throughout the short story.... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]
999 words (2.9 pages)
- ... Once the lottery has begun, the different families become important as it is at this level that they first put themselves at risk as the male head of the house draws for his entire family. Once the first round is done, the unlucky family who selects the marked slip is essentially torn apart as each member’s concern is that of their own as they are no longer at risk as a family, but as the individual. Whittier calls attention to the breakdown of the families in his statement that the story “reveals the fragility of the nuclear family, which is necessary for the ritual of the lottery, but which the lottery effectively divides into competing individuals” (353).... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]
2047 words (5.8 pages)
- ... Generation after generation of following the same tradition over an over again doesn’t stand out, to being an unfair or inhumane action. But also the villagers will never realize how unfair the community is being coming until they’re in the shoes of the person being stoned till death. Another theme that the passage gives the reader is how family is a big part of this passage. Family matters very much in the passage but once that person is chosen to be stoned that person is no longer a family member but instead a target.... [tags: The Lottery, Short story, Shirley Jackson]
1212 words (3.5 pages)
- ... The way that the parts of the box are falling apart shows that the ideas behind the tradition may also be disappearing. The sides of a box keep it together and support the entire structure. In regards to the lottery, the people of the town do the same that the sides of a box do. Without the support of the town, it becomes very difficult for a tradition such as this to continue for much longer. Another example that describes the condition of the box says that is shows “the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained” (458).... [tags: Short story, Shirley Jackson, The Lottery]
1249 words (3.6 pages)
- ... This town participated in the lottery tradition even though some towns had stopped doing the lottery and there were a few comments by town people as to this happening. This is foreshadowing, as events held in the town square are typically important and by the end of the story the reader is able to see the significance of the lottery for this town. An official named Mr. Summers oversaw the lottery each year, making sure the tickets were ready, everyone was present for the lottery, directions were announced and the names of the families and individuals were called.... [tags: The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, Short story, Stoning]
1793 words (5.1 pages)
- ... The first character introduced that can represent something other than just a name is Mr. Summers. He is one of the main characters in the story therefore, he could represent the setting of the lottery; summer day on June 27th. The second person to be mentioned symbolizes where the winner of the lottery will end up; Mr. Graves. Old Man Warner is the oldest man in town and is used as a warning for the townspeople to what the lottery has in store after being in seventy-seven lotteries himself (Jackson 142).... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, Fiction]
944 words (2.7 pages)
- ... The gathering is actually realistic because it shows that people coming together to celebrate, although they’re celebrating a fatality. “Jackson also makes use of symbolic names to give her story universal significance” (Mazeeno 1). The characters’ names are significantly important to the lottery. Jackson uses symbolic names, such as Delacroix, Summers, Graves, Warner, and Hutchinson, to foreshadow events associated with the lottery. Mrs. Delacroix’s name means “of the cross” in French Latin.... [tags: The Lottery, Stoning, Short story, Shirley Jackson]
1702 words (4.9 pages)