The Lottery: a Setting Analysis

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Shirley Jackson takes great care in creating a setting for the story, The Lottery. She gives the reader a sense of comfort and stability from the very beginning. It begins, “clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” The setting throughout The Lottery creates a sense of peacefulness and tranquility, while portraying a typical town on a normal summer day. With the very first words, Jackson begins to establish the environment for her plot. To begin, she tells the reader that the story takes place on an early summer morning. This helps in providing a focus of the typicality of this small town, a normal rural community. She also mentions that school has just recently let out for summer break, which of course allows the children to run around at that time of day. Furthermore, she describes the grass as “richly green and “the flowers were blooming profusely. These descriptions of the surroundings give the reader a serene feeling about the town. The location of the square, “between the post office and the bank, proves the smallness of this town, since everything centralizes at or near the town square and it acts as the primary location for the remaining part of the story, playing a significant role at the end setting of the story. Up to this point, nothing unordinary has happened, which might later reflect an ironic ending. Eventually, small hints about the unusualness of this town are added. The author points out significant buildings that surround the town square, but fails to describe a church or a courthouse, which are common buildings to all communities. In this, there seems to be no central governing body for this town, such as a court or a police station. Also, oddly enough, these people celebrate Halloween but not Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving, the largest holidays that normal people celebrate. However, Halloween implicates a certain proneness to defiant, evil...
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