"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 about to happen due to the Jackson's effective use of foreshadowing through the depiction of characters and setting. Effective foreshadowing builds anticipation for the climax and ultimately the main theme of the story - the pointless nature of humanity regarding tradition and cruelty.
The first hint that insinuates the abnormality of this lottery is seen in the second paragraph of the story. The narrator describes the day as very lovely, but strikes a contrast between the pleasant atmosphere of the town and the activity of the people that are gathering in the square. "Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, a...
... middle of paper ...
...le contradicts the pleasant ambience of the town. When the foreshadowing job reaches its goal, it leads to the climatic point of the story. Through this climax, the reader sees the cruelty of the residents and how they undervalue life for this particular ritual.
Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense. 5th ed. Ed. Laurence Perrine. San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Publishers 1998.
Magill, Frank N. "Shirley Jackson." Critical Survey of Short Fiction. Salem Press, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 1981. 1668-1674.
Nebeker, Helen C. 'The Lottery': Symbolic Tour de Force." American Literature 46 March 1974.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In “The Lottery”, Jackson wrote about a special tradition of a small village. June 27th was warm and sunny, and it gave the impression like nothing could possibly go wrong. Everyone knows the lottery as an exciting thing, and everybody wants to win, but this lottery is unlike any other. This lottery was actually the tradition of stoning of an innocent villager; that year it was Tessie Hutchinson. Though the horrific ending was not expected, throughout the story Jackson gave subtle hints that this was not an average lottery.... [tags: Foreshadowing, Symbolism, Literary Analysis]
1316 words (3.8 pages)
- The Lottery is a short fiction written by Shirley Jackson. It is a story about a shocking tradition practiced by the people in certain town. Shirley ironically gives the lottery a bad meaning in her use of the word in this short story. In the story, the lottery is used for public stoning, contrary to what it originally means; winning a lot of money. The story focuses around a village during a ceremony they call the lottery which ensures there is enough rain for their crops. In the story, a number of literary devices are used by the author for example, irony, symbolism, foreshadowing, only to mention but a few.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
1084 words (3.1 pages)
- The Importance of Characters and Symbols in a Story Have you ever read “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson. “The Lottery” published in 1948 and it was one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature. “Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco, California on December 14, 1916. On August 8, 1965, she died of heart failure at the age of 48. She began writing short stories and poetry when she was a young teenager. In 1948, after her first novel “The Road Through The Wall”, she published her iconic story “The Lottery” and received a largest amount of hateful mails that ever have by a magazine” (Shirley Jackson 's Bio).... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]
1227 words (3.5 pages)
- Shirley Jackson was an author who used the elements of the short story to write. She adds twist to her stories to hook the reader. In her short story “The Lottery” Jackson uses irony, allegory, foreshadowing, and suspense to make this story interesting for the reader. One of the literary techniques used in “The Lottery’ is irony. Irony is a contrast between two things. For example, the irony in this story is that normal people are capable of great brutality. A lottery is typically thought of as something good because it usually involves winning something valuable such as money or prizes.... [tags: The Lottery, Short story, Shirley Jackson]
1930 words (5.5 pages)
- “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” (Twain). The Lottery begins during the summer. A small, seemingly normal, town is gathering to throw the annual “Lottery”. In the end, the townspeople—children included—gather around and stone the winner to death, simply because it was tradition. The story reveals how traditions can become outdated and ineffective. “I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story 's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives” (Jackson).... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]
1373 words (3.9 pages)
- “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson). This is the key element behind the tradition in the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Jackson incorporated symbolism into her story to create mystery and thought. Jackson wrote to the San Francisco Chronicle in response to questions of the meaning, “Explaining just what I had hoped the story to say is very difficult. I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story’s readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives“ (Friedman).... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]
1018 words (2.9 pages)
- The lottery The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is about how society runs towards violence to practice tradition whether it have a purpose and meaning or it is bizarre and pointless and people tend to look for such event to vent their rage and anger out towards others. The story is written based on irony, making the reader thinks that nothing is wrong and everything is going well in this little village. Jackson mostly uses situational irony throughout the story, surprising the reader by the characters actions and the event of the story.... [tags: The Lottery, Stoning, Shirley Jackson, Rajm]
1360 words (3.9 pages)
- “The Lottery”, written by author Shirley Jackson, is short story about a small village that holds a lottery every year. All the people who lived in the village, men, women and children, would come together in the town square at a specific time on a specified day in June each year. Each head of the families would draw a ticket. The family with the marked ticket would draw tickets to see who the final winner would be. The person to draw the winning marked ticket was stoned to death in the square by the entire town.... [tags: The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, Short story, Stoning]
1793 words (5.1 pages)
- Irony of The Setting in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson The setting set forth by Shirley Jackson in the beginning of The Lottery creates a mood of peacefulness and tranquillity. This setting also creates an image in the mind of the reader, the image of a typical town on a normal summer day. Furthermore, Shirley Jackson uses the setting in The Lottery to foreshadow an ironic ending. First, Shirley Jackson begins The Lottery by establishing the setting. To begin, she tells the reader what time of day and what time of year the story takes place.... [tags: Lottery Shirley Jackson Essays]
1111 words (3.2 pages)
- 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]
1144 words (3.3 pages)
- Essay on Shirley Jackson's The Lottery - Inhumanity Exposed
- Blind Obedience in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
- Comparing Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and O. Henry’s "A Municipal Report"
- Blind Obedience in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
- Names in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
- Importance of Setting in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery