The Lottery: Setting Analysis

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Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery is a short story filled with ironies. The title itself already gives a contrary meaning to the first thing that comes to the reader’s minds. The Lottery in this story refers to the tradition wherein the winner of the lottery would be stoned to death. This is divergent to what we first think when we hear the word lottery; winning a big amount of money. The story begins with a clear and thorough description of the town square in which the story is set. It begins, “The morning of June 27th was a clear and sunny, with fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” This suggests an ambiance of joy and happiness in the air. It portrays a normal summer’s day in a typical town, but as the story goes on the readers will see that something contrary to this is about to happen. Shirley Jackson begins her story by describing a typical summer morning. Here, nothing out of the ordinary arises which establishes the irony of the story. She mentions that the school was just recently over for summer break giving the children the freedom to run around and play. She describes the grass as “richly green” and the flowers “blossoming profusely” giving the feeling of serenity to the readers. With these words, Shirley creates a peaceful environment where you would least expect anything dark to occur. The story being set in the town square already hints on how important the lottery must be to the townspeople. The town square being between the bank and the post office also gives us an idea on how small the town is, as everything of importance is set close to each other. In addition, it is mentioned that there were only about three hundred people gathered in the said location. Eventually, Shirley gives us small hints on what is to happen in the town square. She mentions Bobby Martin, Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix making a great pile of stones which suggests the imminent fate of the lottery...
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