The Importance Of Suspense In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Secrets are often created because the power in their revelation is great enough to impact those involved. Likewise, the concealment of details within a story often encompass a larger message than the ideas obviously presented within the writing. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” invites readers to look deeper than the facts stated and infer the reason behind the concealment of the truth of “The Lottery.” Using an objective point of view, Jackson manages to create an air of suspense that leaves readers curious; requiring indirect interpretation to make up for the important unmentioned details. Suspense is a powerful tool used by writers to engage readers and create more impactful climaxes and endings. Similarly, Jackson uses objective point…show more content…
For example, the lottery itself is never explained, and is only vaguely referenced to in name. Instead, seemingly insignificant details are revealed, such as the traditions of having “a recital of some sort, performed by the official of the lottery,” and the importance of using “the original paraphernalia” of the black box each year. Since the traditions have no explanation, it is easy to overlook their importance. Be that as it may, the lack of reasoning is there to encourage readers to make their own inferences, and question the weight put on the use of tradition. There is implication that the reason behind the missing explanations is because the villagers themselves do not understand the traditions, especially when Old Man Warner says that there “used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon,’” as oppose to there is a saying in the present time. The concealment of the meaning behind the tradition of the lottery and the lottery itself helps readers empathize and understand the villagers, who don’t seem to truly understand that the lottery is meant for their crops, as the saying goes; which in turn adds to the confusion of why they

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