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Human Nature In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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The phrase human nature refers to the underlying qualities of both warmth and evil prevalent in all human beings. The Lottery begins with a description of a serene and an outwardly appearance of a normal town. Yet as the story gradually progresses and the story nears the lottery, a tradition that has been kept for generations, the story hints at the sinister significance of the ritual of death. Shirley Jackson manipulates the tone to create the impression of a seemingly normal and peaceful town while foreshadowing the barbaric ending, emphasizing the apathy inherent in human nature. The author utilizes different tones to accentuate the misleading visualizations of the town with the setting, the townspeople, and lottery that are used to express…show more content…
The time of day of the town plays a significant role in the expression of apathy in humans as it foreshadows the town’s impatience in completing the lottery. The residents desired to “finish quickly” and get home in time “for noon dinner.” The people of the town cares not for the victim, but their next meal, emphasizing their lack of value they hold for human life. The decision of the townspeople to forget the chants and recitals but carry on with the killing foreshadows the true nature of the town’s residents. The townspeople remembers the “ritual salutes” and a “tuneless chant” that was once part of the tradition that has “changed with time.” However, their continuous acceptance of the killing shows the barbaric side of the townspeople. Foreshadowing the stoning at the end of The Lottery shows the willingness of the townspeople to actively participate in a ritual that goes against human nature. The townspeople “gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles” and then, “they were upon her.” The use of foreshadowing shows how prepared the people are to kill, and how normal and insignificant the killing was to them. Jackson uses foreshadowing to explain the underlying nature of cruelty found in
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