Death at a Lottery
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson opens with the descriptions of how the day was beginning and the describing the ordinary villagers and the pleasant and hot weather. The title itself gives the reader the general subject matter about the story. The reader automatically with the help of the title and the introduction of “The Lottery” provides them the thought this would be a pleasant story with a happily ever after, but the contrary it was anything but. The atmosphere of the town’s square is filled with cheerfulness and serenity even though the villagers already have knowledge of the purpose and conclusion of the lottery. The scenery creates the feel of a normal town on a hot summer day but on the contrary it’s more than that. Jackson descriptions of the grass and flowers bud and children frolicking in the summer make the reader more at ease with the story providing them some sense that nothing horrible will happen. Kids played while the adult villagers chatted along with no sense of anxiety. But the readers do catch foreshadowing actions along the second paragraph, “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones…” (Jackson 258). No one but the characters knew what the stones were for but Jackson gives a hint of what is coming next.
The turning point of the story is her introduction of the traditional black box for the lottery. The villagers take no good care for it yet they keep up with their menacing traditions. She gives descriptions of the appearance of the black box and how shabby it was and it almost didn’t look like a box but something completely different. The villagers had no memory of the ritual salutes or the official chant and had no regard for caring for the lottery box, and the villagers previously lost the original box they, yet they kept their customs of giving the lottery winner just what they “won”. Jackson gives the...
Cited: Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery” The Bedford Guide for College Writers. Ed X.J, Kennedy M. Kennedy and Marcia F. Muth. Ninth Ed. Boston. Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2011 257-64. Print.
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