Literary Elements In The Lottery

1209 Words5 Pages
In "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson fills her story with many literary elements to mask the evil. The story demonstrates how it is in human nature to blindly follow traditions. Even if the people have no idea why they follow.
The title of the story plays a role in how Shirley Jackson used some literary elements to help mask the evils and develop the story. The title “The Lottery” serves as an allegory. When people think of the lottery majority of people associate it with something good like the New York State Lottery where you can win some money. In the story it is used as a way to pick someone to be killed. In the story everyone gathers in the town square and the town’s people draw family names until a black dot is one the slip of paper. Which
…show more content…
At the beginning of the story it starts out seeming like an ordinary civilized community where everyone gets along. In the first sentence of the story “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.”(Jackson). Even though the towns people knew what day it was and what happens on July 27th they had no problem with gathering in the town center to get the lottery under way. The kids would start gathering first, then the men, and then the women and they all would present themselves wearing nice cloths as if attending a special event. This became such a tradition that people even forgot about it and this is made evident when Mrs. Hutchinson said “and then I looked out the window and the kids was gone, and then I remembered it was the twenty-seventh and came a-running" (Jackson). Mrs. Hutchinson had put a target on her back from then on because she was seen as an outsider or not normal because she had joined the group late. “The villagers’ blind acceptance of the lottery has allowed ritual murder to become part of their town fabric.” (Sparknote…show more content…
“Although everyone appears to agree that the annual lottery is important no one seems to know when it began or what its original purpose was” (Introduction) This is made clear when in the story it says that the reason the tradition had started was lost years ago. It is also made clear when the box is being describe as an old rugged looking thing and “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box” (Jackson). In the story it also says that so much of the original tradition has been lost or discarded that Mr. Summers who symbolizes a leader who has frighten amounts of power, was able to slip in chips of wood instead of paper into the box (Jackson). Mr. Summers is in charge of the lottery it is even up to him to but the black dot on the paper that decides who will be stoned. The power that Mr. Summer has serves as a symbol of humans blindly following tradition because no one ever challenged Mr. Summers whether it be to figure out or stop the lottery or even to challenge why he is the one in power. Instead the town’s people feel sorry for him because he has a nagging wife and no children. Jackson never explains why Mr. Summers has all this power. Mr. Summers is a bit ironic to because of his last name summers. When someone thinks of summer they think
Open Document