With this being said, obviously something good was to come out of the contest. The reader does not suspect the tragedy that lies in the end of the story. The winner of the lottery does receive an interesting prize. In this story, the “winner” is the biggest loser. Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson wins the lottery and is stoned to death by the other villagers.
As soon as they hold the second drawing, Mrs. Hutchinson is chosen. This is the climax of irony of this story. Mrs. Hutchinson is chosen for the lottery. She is shocked and astounded, having believed that she couldn?t possibly be chosen for the lottery. She begs or mercy, but the townspeople are strict with keeping to their traditions and her pleas of mercy fall on deaf ears and she is stoned to death.
At the beginning of the story, we see her desiring going to the lottery. She was laughing, joking, and encouraging her husband to go up and get a drawing when he didn’t move right away. She never would have suspected her family would be chosen, and furthermore, herself. Jackson creates a great contrast between Tessie’s nonchalance and the crowd’s nervousness (Yarmove). When her family is chosen, her character changes around knowing that there’s the possibility of her own death.
Tessie Hutchinson, the major character in the story, is wife of Mr. Bill Hutchinson and also a mother of three siblings and a married daughter. Jackson presents Mrs. Hutchinson as a strong rebellious character. Mrs. Hutchinson plays two different roles in this story. She is excitedly participating in the lottery ceremony at the beginning but her character shifts when her husband picks the winning lottery of death for their family. Mrs. Hutchinson is presented as a blind follower of old tradition, a strong rebellious character and a selfish and careless person in the society.
The first act of Irony is the plot of the story itself. The story uses an abundant amount of cheerful imagery in the beginning which makes the audience think that it is going to be a joyful story about winning a regular lottery. But in reality it is not an ecstatic story, only a horrific play about a death lottery. Another act of irony is when Tessie humerly hurries her husband up to the front to select the paper of of the lottery to get people to laugh and to lighten the mood. This is ironic because when she is the one selected to get stoned she claims that Bill did not have enough time to pick the slip he wanted when she was the one egging him to hurry up.
The fact that the people gather and discuss everyday issue prior to the start of the lottery all point to the blind tradition of selecting some to be stoned to death. The author also points out in her story that no one knew when or why the tradition of the lottery began. Even not knowing Tessie Hutchinson, at first had no issues with the annual event. It was only when she “won” the lottery that she developed the point of view that was bias or judgmental. Mrs. Hutchinson protests the process of the lottery and the town’s methods, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.” (Kennedy & Gioia, 2013, pp.
Along with the box changing many people’s views on The Lottery, it also lets the town’s people stand strong by themselves. Shirley Jackson in “The Lottery” uses symbolism and irony to foreshadow death. Although the towns’ people are gathering for a lottery drawing there is an air of nervousness about the event. From start to finish there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible is about to happen due to the authors deep use of foreshadowing. The setting and irony of the story starts when the day is described as a bright sunny day and all the towns’ people are looking forward for the Lottery on the big day, but not knowing the big day ends in death.
The author cunningly develops the story that keeps readers away from all possible negative signs. Jackson gives to her readers a shock in the end when her ‘the lottery’ turns out to be the death game. There could be many intentions behind a sad ending, but most of the time shocking ending makes readers to reevaluate the story and to consider little to little details carefully, while readers scrutinize the story. Shirley Jackson most likely intended to use this shocking ending to make the over all story funny in its twisted theme, and to make her readers to understand her purpose of how society is evil, but there is still hope for good in the civilization. “The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend” (Henri Bergson).
This practice is common almost everywhere but Jackson provided the audience lens to what a hypocrite looks to the sane eye. From the beginning of the story the people in the town seem to be ok with the practice of the lottery. The character of Tessie Hutchinson is the biggest example of hypocrisy in the story. As she is introduced, her attitude demonstrated an indifference to the ritual. She arrived late claiming she did not remember what day it was and later jokes with her husband about being late.
It’s cruel that the people of the town would hope that the families who had already lost a member be chosen once again. Tessie’s cheerful personality about the lottery finally vanishes once she realizes that her husband had picked the paper with the dot (Jackson 375). Only now does the lottery seem unfair to her; it is also where the reader realizes what a terrible, selfish person Tessie is. First, Tessie claims that Mr. Summers hadn’t given Mr. Hutchinson enough time to choose (Jackson 375). Then, as Yarmove writes, Tessie shows her deceitful side when she tries to make her two married daughters partake in the next draw so that she will have a better change to survive (2).