The Irony of the Story ‘the Lottery’

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The story titled The Lottery written by Shirley Jackson is an interesting story with an unpredictable ending. The story tells us about a tradition in a small town which is held every year. The tradition is called ‘the lottery’ where the ‘winner’ will be stoned to death. Actually it is a horrible tradition, but in the story it is considered usual, and even acceptable in the society. There are several irony that we can see in the story according to that ‘scapegoat’ tradition.

One of the irony is the atmosphere in the town when the lottery is held. The author describes the situation that is “…clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day, the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” (Page 357). That kind of situation is contradictory with the fact that there is someone will be put to death by the town’s people that day. The atmosphere should be sad or gloomy. Moreover, the person who will be put to death could be one of their families.

Another irony is seen in the way the people behave. “…, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones;…” “They greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husband” (Page 358). Those two sentences in the story show fun and happy condition, although they actually know what they are going to do next (which is killing somebody).

We can see another irony in the sentence one of the characters say, “Seems like there’s no time at all between lotteries any more. Seems like we got through with the last one only last week” (Page 361). The sentence shows that the people are excited with the tradition so they always look forward to it. And it also show that the people in that town are immoral and do not have the feeling of humanity.

Another irony is shown in the sentence “Nancy and Bill, Jr. opened theirs at the same time, and both beamed and laughed, turning around to the crowd and holding their slips of paper above...
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