From Charming to Tragedy an Analysis of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

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From Charming to Tragedy;
An Analysis of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
Stephanie Matney
2/4/2013
English 102
Submitted to Jeanne Berryman
Colorado Christian University

A lovely summer morning in a quiet little village, is what Shirley Jackson describes in the birth of her short story, “The Lottery (1948).” The organization of her story makes it exceptionally easy to read. The appealing imagery, that Jackson uses, sets the mood of the day and event to come. With the same imagery, she carefully decorates the setting, describes the characters, and unfolds the plot; while keeping the reader from anticipating the conflict until it is upon them. Organization

Jackson’s organization of the story is chronological. After the introduction and description of the setting, she explains the sequence of events. The children congregate first, then the men. The women join the men, and they call the children to settle. As the event starts, the heads of each household go to remove a piece of paper from the box. Then, as they completed the first round of the lottery, each member of the winning family drew again. All of these events, so nonchalantly, were leading up to the tragic stoning of one community member. Setting

From the image that Shirley describes of the stories setting, the reader can feel the warmth of the summer day. One can see and just about smell the flowers and grass, and can hear the children playing around as everyone in the small village gathered together. The men were discussing tractors and taxes, and the women exchanging gossip while they awaited the day’s annual event. Mood and Characters

Mr. Summers leads the community event they call the lottery. Jackson tells us that Mr. Summers, because he has time to devote, also leads the other civic activities such as the square dances and Halloween program. Tessy Hutchinson is late to the gathering, saying that she “clean forgot what day it was (p. 259).” Mrs. Dunbar says, “I wish...
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