Shirley Jackson is a master of suspense. She starts the story The Lottery off by describing what seems to be a normal summers day in an average village. This gives the reader a false sense of security which quickly turns into a sense of horror by the end of the story. Jackson uses the elements of a short story, atmosphere, plot and characters to create a sense of horror. One of the five elements of a short story that Jackson uses to create a sense of horror is atmosphere. Jackson describes the story as taking place on a clear, warm and sunny summer day but when one first reads about the children in the story, they are not playing and having fun and one would expect, instead they are quietly grouped together not doing much of anything. The fact that these children, more specifically the boys, are acting uneasy, and loafing around on beautiful summer day is one of the ways that Jackson uses atmosphere to create a sense of horror. Another one of the elements that Jackson uses to create a sense of horror is plot. When Tessie Hutchinson finds out that her husband and head of the family, Bill, has drawn the marked piece of paper she starts shouting out that “You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper her wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!” so everyone should have to draw again, it is starting to become clear that being the winner of this lottery is not a good thing. This is made even clearer when Tessie starts trying to have her in-laws added to the roster of the next group of contestants in order to better her chances of not being picked. Characters are the third and final element of a short story that Jackson uses to create a sense of horror. One of ways that Jackson use characters to create a sense of horror is through their names. An example of one of the characters she uses to do this is Mr. Graves. Grave can be used as an adjective or noun. The adjective means to cause alarm or to be serious. The noun refers to a burial place, typically a...
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