“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, pg. 112)” How is it so that a story with such a happy and optimistic beginning ends so horrifically? “The Lottery”, written by Shirley Jackson, begins with a calm, but almost eerie normalcy where the townsfolk gather for their annual lottery; the children are at play, and the adults scattered in their groups, talking and laughing joyfully. But at the sight of the daunting black box and the beginning of the lottery, the crowd settles rather quickly. The heads of families draw white slips of paper, one of which contains a black dot. The head that draws the dotted slip paper must draw again, but with only him and his family drawing to determine the member that will be stoned to death. It is at this moment that the audience realizes the horror of the story; Tess Hutchinson, the unlucky lottery winner, is stoned to death by her community, her family, and even her son as they follow an
...ner, Mrs. Hutchinson. Some people were hesitant to throw the rocks at first but it did ensue. I would think people in the story did want to speak up and end the lottery but the thought of going against the tradition intimidates them because they could be punished for having their own ideas instead of conforming to the ideas of others about the tradition of the lottery. I find the behavior of the people in this situation to be disturbing because it shows that humans are capable of being cruel when reinforced by society and tradition without questioning it.
The Lottery begins with the description of a clear, sunny summer day in a small village. The townspeople are beginning to gather in the town square for the annual “lottery”. Jackson starts the story off by describing what groups are assembling in the square and their actions. Young boys collecting pebbles with pockets full of stones and older women gossiping and laughing together nervously, foreshadowing the twisted ending to this chilling short story. The process needed to conduct the lottery is mentioned, revealing that lists had to be made “...- of heads of families, heads of households in each family, members of each household in each family.” (239) These lists are all the work of the official of the lottery, Mr. Summers. Once all the townspeople have joined at the square it is time to start the lottery. The head of each household, generally male, walks up to Mr. Summers to select a paper from th...
In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” the theme of the story is dramatically illustrated by Jackson’s unique tone. Once a year the villagers gather together in the central square for the lottery. The villagers await the arrival of Mr. Summers and the black box. Within the black box are folded slips of paper, one piece having a black dot on it. All the villagers then draw a piece of paper out of the box. Whoever gets the paper with the black dot wins. Tessie Hutchinson wins the lottery! Everyone then closes in on her and stones her to death. Tessie Hutchinson believes it is not fair because she was picked. The villagers do not know why the lottery continues to exist. All they know is that it is a tradition they are not willing to abandon. In “The Lottery,” Jackson portrays three main themes including tradition, treason, and violence.
The stones played of one the largest parts in foreshadowing and symbolism. The reader can overlook the significance of the stones because in the beginning they did not seem out of the ordinary. Children were playing and collecting stones prior to the lottery, but the reader has no idea that the stones are going to be used to kill Tessie Hutchinson. Jackson started foreshadowing with a subtle hint, “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets with stones, and the other boys soon followed in his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones” (Jackson). Jackson explained that the children were picking up smooth stones, not jagged, spiky rocks, which could kill a person faster. Although picking up smooth rocks may seemed like a trivial detail, Jackson was actually foreshadowing the ending. Jackson showed the regularity of the stoning, “... eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys” (Jackson). The boys treated as if it was a game; the boys felt the need to gua...
Hutchings being chosen as a way to highlight the evil inside the town. Jackson writes, “You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!" (7) From the beginning, Tessie was the only person who took a stand and spoke up for herself and others. ‘"It isn't fair,’ she [Tessie] said. A stone hit her [Tessie] on the side of the head. Old Man Warner was saying, ‘Come on, come on, everyone”’(7). Shirley Jackson uses irony as a literary device here, by showing how she later is coincidentally the person who is killed after being the only person who attempts to stop the lottery. In addition, Shirley Jackson displays how evil the town really is by stating, ‘"that over in the north village they're talking of giving up the lottery.’... ‘Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them...There's always been a lottery"’(4). Some people are giving into the idea of giving up the lottery they want to give it up. However, the leaders of this town completely against this idea, and forced people to believe what they are doing is good for them. The townspeople are all evil, including Tessie’s son. Shirley Jackson writes, “The children had stones already. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson few pebbles” (7). Everyone in the town has a darkside, including Tessie’s son, who is handed s stone to throw at his own mother. Everyone in the story has a dark side that is hidden. SHirley Jackson does an excellent job including irony in this story to represent evil inside
Shirley Jackson main argument in the short story “The Lottery” is that looks can be deceiving. Also, that people are influence by pressure from their society, peers and traditions. In the beginning of the story the mood is joyful, with the kids starting off summer preparing for a traditional event that happens every year. The parents also seemed to be ok about what is going on as they have small talk while watching the kids gather the rocks. As, the story progress it became obvious that something wasn’t right about the gathering. For this to be something that the whole town assemble for, why is there so much anxiety amongst the crowd. At this point in the story, the reader is in suspense because thus far everyone seemed so eager for the climax
The first few paragraphs and the title of the story give the reader positive expectations but that takes a turn by the end. “The lottery was conducted-as a were the square dancers, the teen club, the Halloween program-by Mr. Summers, who has time and energy to devote to civic activities.” (Jackson 1) The title in fact keeps the reader from catching on to the basic idea of the story and strengthens the horror when the reader does truly find out the meaning. Old Man Warner suggests that stopping the lottery
Jackson states, “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys (564).” This seems like innocent play until the stones’ true purpose becomes unveiled at the end of the story. Jackson creates suspense through the children and the rock piling.
Jackson’s “The Lottery” follows the events that take place during a small village’s annual tradition. The story begins with the narrator describing the beautiful summer day. As the children gather to collect stones, the men arrive to socialize. Just about all of the village is in attendance when the conductor of the lottery takes account of any missing villagers. The gathering starts off on a positive note and is similar to most town festivities. In fact, everyone seems eager to start drawing names and to get back to their business. However, when the drawing of the names begins, the readers can sense how uneasy the crowd becomes. In fact, after the Hutchinson family wins, Tessie Hutchinson quickly goes from eager to frantic. In opposition to Tessie’s pleas, the Hutchinson’s draws again within
Let us focus on the theme of the story, when it comes to the lottery the reader tends think of winning some extra cash on hand at least that is what the individual thought. Preparing ourselves to get ready to splurge on valuable things of what the individual never had before. Why not? That all changed when Shirley Jackson wrote, “The Lottery.” Jackson focus her thought upon the fact that the people refuse to give up their tradition of the lottery. Consequently, it results in picking someone out to take the blame of the community. The people of the village take matters into their own hands once the individual
“Selecting the smoothest and roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys.” These boys were well aware of what was going to happen at the conclusion of
were talking about how other towns had given up the lottery and Old Man Warner’s response was says “”Used to be a Saying about ‘Lottery in June, Corn be heavy soon.’ First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns.”” This means that when someone was stoned to death in June, the harvest will be successful. Then he goes on to say that if we stop than we’ll be eating acorns and chickweed not corn and other crops. When the village gets ready to stone Mrs. Hutchinson it says “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones” This quote shows this tradition and how long they’ve been doing this for, and how’s it’s like stuck in their
A lottery has always provided a sense of hope and adventure to people, but the lottery takes on an entirely different significance in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. The story takes place in a village of roughly three hundred people. Everyone in the village gathers at the center to take part. One representative from each family comes up, to take a piece of paper from an old, black, wooden box. The Hutchinson family has the black dot; each family Hutchinson member then comes up to pick another piece of paper. Mrs. Hutchinson has the second black dot; she is made to come to the center of the circle, and she is stoned to death by the crowd. Shirley Jackson illustrates clearly the brutality in human nature. By using creative symbolism, irony and a dark, mysterious mood, the author creates an excellent reading environment and completes the story with an unanticipated twist.