Analysis Of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Set in a quintessential American town, “The Lottery” depicts an eternal tradition, practiced by villagers, of selecting one member of a family to be murdered. In Shirley Jackson’s riveting short story “The Lottery”, Jackson creates a community that’s rich in tradition, yet lacks historical evidence, making the village’s annual lottery an event to attend. Over the course of the short story, the narrator hints at the apparent discourse of camaraderie for the lottery and as a result the tradition became purposeless. In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, Jackson identifies the theme of the story being the dangers that follow eternal traditions through the use of setting, point of view, and style. “The Lottery” is set at the beginning of summer…show more content…
The dichotomy of the different villages and how long their lotteries have been going for is brought up by Old Man Warner when yelled, “Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery, … Seventy-seventh time” (Jackson). Prior to Old Man Warner’s yell, Mr. Adams said, “that over in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery” (Jackson), the divisive actions going on in the other villages gives way modern interpretation of war and the differing opinions of what others are doing. The lack of information plays into the questions of how “The Lottery” transcends time and what makes this short story a “classic”. Jackson’s ability to create a story that can be modernized and still maintains its core structure is what makes “The Lottery” a classic short story. In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, the theme is apparent through the scenarios that are posed to the reader while also connecting to a wide range of age groups. The balance between the setting of the quaint village, understanding where the narrator speaks from, and the type of writing that is used in order to convey this classic story. A dual understanding of theme and the different elements of literature in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, allows the reader to find a balance between dangers that may occur and the traditions that need to
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