Essay on The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

Essay on The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

Length: 750 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 of view to create an air of mystery, withholding thoughts and direct interpretation and instead leaving minor but unsettling observations to lead to a more effective conclusion. As she describes how the children “[sit] uneasily” and how the men “[smile] rather than [laugh],” there is a sense of discomfort that may immediately alert the reader that something not quite right is conspiring just beyond the writing. Jackson’s word choice creates a suspenseful atmosphere that properly engages readers and prepares them for the shocking end, and the curiosity caused by the lack of explanation for the tense feeling assists in provoking questions from readers that get them more involved and immersed within the story. Simple details such as the “villagers [keeping] their distance” from the box or the “long…breathless pause” in between the drawing of the names add up to create an expectancy within readers for an explanation, since it can be viewed as odd that such abnormal behavior is used as a descriptor. ...


... middle of paper ...


...allows readers to immerse themselves within the story and increase the depth of their understanding through empathy towards the villagers.
Building up towards the finale of “The Lottery”, the level of suspense reaches a new high and the amount of questions regarding the meaning behind everything increases for a heavy conclusion that may satisfy some readers, but still leaves many doors open. The use of objective point of view allows readers to take away a lesson that is more personalized, instead of having them filter through the bias of other perspectives. “The Lottery” leaves readers questioning the significance of tradition, similar to how they would question the significance of the lottery or the black box within the story. The thought provoking ending is key to have readers input the best of their insights into creating a lesson that is valuable for themselves.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Analysis of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

- Shirley Jackson’s famous short story, “The Lottery,” was published in 1948 and remains to this day one of the most enduring and affecting American works in the literary canon. “The Lottery” tells the story of a farming community that holds a ritualistic lottery among its citizens each year. Although the text initially presents audiences with a close-knit community participating in a social event together on a special day, the shocking twist at the work’s end—with the death of the lottery’s “winner” by public stoning—has led to its widespread popularity, public outcry and discussion, and continued examination in modern times (Jackson)....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery 2014]

Better Essays
4600 words (13.1 pages)

Tradition in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Tradition in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery     Shirley Jackson?s insights and observations about society are reflected in her shocking and disturbing short story The Lottery. Jackson reveals two general attitudes in this story: first is the shocking tendency for societies to select a scapegoat and second is the idea that communities are victims of social tradition and rituals. Anyone with knowledge of current events must be aware of times when society has seized upon a scapegoat as means of resolution....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Better Essays
799 words (2.3 pages)

Foreshadowing in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Foreshadowing in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery       "The Lottery," a short story written by Shirley Jackson, is a tale about a disturbing social practice.  The setting takes place in a small village consisting of about three hundred denizens.  On June twenty-seventh of every year, the members of this traditional community hold a village-wide lottery in which everyone is expected to participate.  Throughout the story, the reader gets an odd feeling regarding the residents and their annual practice.  Not until the end does he or she gets to know what the lottery is about.  Thus, from the beginning of the story until almost the end, there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible is...   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Better Essays
1142 words (3.3 pages)

Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery' Essay

- Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'      The setting in a story helps to form the story and it makes the characters become more interesting. There are three main types of setting. The first is nature and the outdoors, second is objects of human manufacture and construction and the third is cultural conditions and assumptions. These three things help the reader to understand the characters better in Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery';.      'The Lottery'; is started out by being described as 'The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day.'; The flowers are blooming and the children have just gotten out of school for the summer....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Better Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

Point of View in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Point of View in The Lottery Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" uses the third-person dramatic point of view to tell a story about an un-named village that celebrates a wicked, annual event. The narrator in the story gives many small details of the lottery taking place, but leaves the most crucial and chilling detail until the end: the winner of the lottery is stoned to death by the other villagers. The use of the third-person point of view, with just a few cases of third-person omniscient thrown in, is an effective way of telling this ironic tale, both because the narrator's reporter-like blandness parallels the villagers' apparent apathy to the lottery, and because it helps build to the sur...   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Better Essays
572 words (1.6 pages)

Tradition or Cruelty in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Tradition or Cruelty in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" satirizes barbaric traditions in a supposedly civilized village. As the story begins, the villagers appear to be fairly civilized and carry on fairly modern lifestyles. This is assumed by the men's discussion of planting, rain, tractors, and taxes. The lottery was outdated to such a degree that some may think that the tradition is primal competition of anthropoid beasts. On the other hand, some think that carrying on the tradition was necessary....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Better Essays
2231 words (6.4 pages)

Importance of Setting in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Importance of Setting in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery        The setting in the beginning of The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, creates a mood of peacefulness and tranquillity.  The image portrayed by the author is that of a typical town on a normal summer day.  Shirley Jackson uses this setting to foreshadow an ironic ending.        First, Jackson begins by establishing the setting.  She tells the reader what time of day and what time of year the story takes place.  This is important to get the reader to focus on what a typical day it is in this small town.  The time of day is set in the morning and the time of year is early summer....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Free Essays
1144 words (3.3 pages)

Hidden Horrors in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Hidden Horrors in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" presents conflict on more than one level. The most important conflict in the story is between the subject matter and the way the story is told. From the beginning Jackson takes great pains to present her short story as a folksy piece of Americana. Slowly it dawns on us, the terrible outcome of what she describes. From 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....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Better Essays
1081 words (3.1 pages)

Social Hysteria in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay example

- Social Hysteria in The Lottery Tradition is a central theme in Shirley Jackon's short story The Lottery. Images such as the black box and characters such as Old Man Warner, Mrs. Adams, and Mrs. Hutchinson display to the reader not only the tenacity with which the townspeople cling to the tradition of the lottery, but also the wavering support of it by others. In just a few pages, Jackson manages to examine the sometimes long forgotten purpose of rituals, as well as the inevitable questioning of the necessity for such customs....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Better Essays
567 words (1.6 pages)

Blind Obedience in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- When Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” was first published in The New Yorker in 1948, it struck a nerve with readers. “The story was incendiary; readers acted as if a bomb had blown up in their faces . . . Shirley struck a nerve in mid-twentieth-century America . . . She had told people a painful truth about themselves” (Oppenheimer 129). Interestingly, the story strikes that same nerve with readers today. When my English class recently viewed the video, those students who had not previously read the story reacted quite strongly to the ending....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery 2014]

Better Essays
2500 words (7.1 pages)