The use of Satire/Irony within literature establishes situations where the unlikelihood of the occurrence of an event will happen. Jackson’s manipulation of his story, The Lottery, provides an unexpected twist to what one may seem to be a normal subject. Northrop Frye’s The Singing School, suggests that all stories are told in either one of four ways: Comedy, Romance, Tragedy or Satire/Irony (Frye 18). The use of Irony and its conventional associations eludes the reader from interpreting a story as a Romance, but instead give the reader a reversed twist. This use of ironic convention in literary work is seen through Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery; the story of Tessie Hutchinson, stoned to death after winning her village’s annual lottery. Thus, The Lottery, according to Northrop Frye’s literary model, is a Satire/Irony.
Jackson’s use of The Lottery as both the title and event, along with its conventional associations is ironically reversed in the end. A lottery, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is a procedure for distributing something (usually money or prizes) among a group of people by lot or by chance are distributed to the winners among persons buying a chance (Webster’s Dictionary). The lucky winner of the lottery reaps the benefit of his/her luck and wins the prize of whatever being drawn. The lottery within the story, however, is of a different intention, whereby the winner of the lottery receives the prize of death. The story’s main character and lottery winner, Mrs. Hutchinson, is brutally stoned to death by the rest of the village as a result of an annual tradition for the well being of a bountiful harvest. The irony that resides within the lottery remains evident for the reason that the winner of the lottery still remains a loser. Mrs. Hutchinson is the ultimate loser, for her prize is the taking away of her life. In most lotteries, only one winner is chosen leaving the rest as losers... [continues]
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