Preview

Symbolism And Irony In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

Good Essays
Open Document
Open Document
608 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Symbolism And Irony In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery
Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”, is about a small town that meets on June 27, a beautiful day, for the annual lottery. All 300 people in this town meet in the town square and draw slips of paper out of a box, awaiting the person to have the one with the black dot on their paper. Once they find that Tessie Hutchinson, a mom, and wife, pick the paper with the black dot the town crowds around her and begins throwing rocks, stoning her to death. Jackson manipulates her readers so well that they ignore the symbolism and irony throughout the story, making Jackson not create the outcome she intended after having read the story because of the shock factor at the end and the illogical storyline.
Starting that the very beginning Jackson managed to make the
…show more content…
Because it didn’t seem like the author was writing in symbolism until the very end, the contrast between the holiday atmosphere and cheerfulness and the cruel horror that was actually going on was such a dramatic shock that readers thought ‘that is horrific and gruesome’ and ‘this would never happen’. (Heilman) If anything were unrealistic about the story it is that no one is trying to leave. If this were really going on people would try to go to a different town or try and escape the day before the lottery. Everyone is too willing to sacrifice themselves or their family members to ‘secure better crops’. Even in Aztec days, they had to guard the victim’s day and night so they didn’t escape before the ritual. This makes the story seem more symbolic rather than realistic. (Friedman) In conclusion, the paradox of the lottery is that the readers wanted the story to be positive from the beginning so badly that they skipped over the many bits of irony and symbolism within the story. Jackson was so careful with her wording that she made endless ways to interpret the meaning of this story, whether the readers realized it or

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    The Lottery Symbolism

    • 450 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Motifs are an important element to develop themes in stories. The magic behind motifs is that depending on how the author uses it they can help develop different themes in different ways. As seen in “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor, where three different authors use death that can be interpreted to develop different themes.…

    • 450 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Lottery is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948, yet still, leaves a mark on any person who gets their hands on it today. The story starts out by setting an enjoyable atmosphere at the beginning of summer. The community gathers and the story almost fulfills the reader’s idea of a perfect town activity. However, the story has a sharp twist at the end that leaves the reader in shock. Jackson wrote the story to leave an impact and whom how quickly human nature can change. Shirley Jackson shows the duality of human nature in the characters of the children, Tessie Hutchinson, and Mr. Summers.…

    • 631 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” is not what you think it is. A lottery typically, is something you would want to win. In Jackson’s story, it is quite the opposite. You wouldn’t think anything was wrong at the beginning of the story. It takes place in a small village. Everyone seems to be excited about the lottery, because everyone is present for the lottery. All the characters in the story seem to get along well. Everyone in the town gathers for the lottery. All the children are gathering rocks. This rock collecting didn’t seem to make sense until later. The lottery takes place by having each man or head of household draw a piece of paper out of a black box. The man that draws the black dot then has to have their family members…

    • 761 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    “ The Lottery”, written by Shirley Jackson, shows the corruption in a village whose people treat life with insignificance. Through the use of literary devices, Jackson portrays how practices in traditions can be barbaric;ultimately, resulting in persecution.…

    • 712 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    This story might sound as fiction, but Religious Persecution have always happen in every part of the world. The Lottery remains relevant in our society today because the symbols in the story were never fully explained. Just like religion people follow it blindly without needing any reasons. The story itself symbolizes tradition, unquestioned traditions that exist not just in the society of the Lottery but on ours everyday. The heavy emphasis on religious traditions and symbols make the Lottery one of the darkest and most mysterious stories to…

    • 656 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson many of the beliefs in the story are giving the lottery a bad meaning. In this story The Lottery is a huge event of stoning winners of the lottery. Many of the lottery winners think maybe the drawings are very unfair. Normally the first thing that comes to a persons mind when they think about the lottery is a large sum of money, in the story “The Lottery” it is not the same. This story makes the readers mind wonder and see two aspects of the story, for what they think “The Lottery” is and what it really meant to them. In the story one of the main characters Tessie Hutchinson felt the lottery was unfair and decided to protest. Old Man Warner and also Mr. Summers are pretty much on the same…

    • 934 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    (Introduction) “The Lottery,” a short story by Shirley Jackson, is about a woman who has been selected for sacrifice by a lottery drawing. Tessie Hutchinson, and the rest of her town, are unfeeling about how the annual sacrifice affects the selected. However, they carry on with their tradition year after year, with no intent to make changes to meet modern day morals and needs. “The Lottery” is about blindly following tradition, the awareness of how cruel a practice sacrificing is, and how one’s mindset can change when they are the chosen one.…

    • 550 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    1.The dark ending was not a typically lottery but throughout the story methods of foreshadowing was used by the author, Shirley Jackson. Characters throughout the story fear the lottery nervously but the dark suspicions are confirmed when “Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!"”(Jackson 5). Tessie instead of being excited for winning the lottery is extremely against winning which confirms that the lottery is nothing to be excited about. Jackson begins the story picturing the town as a the children were playing around as if nothing horrible was about to happen.…

    • 488 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the short story “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to describe how being oblivious towards the meaning a tradition can lead to dangerous consequences. The box used in the lottery symbolizes an old tradition that the villagers follow. Though “the original paraphernalia for the lottery has been lost long ago” (pg195) and “the villagers [have] forgotten the ritual” (pg201), “they still [remember] to use stones” (pg201) during the execution portion of the lottery. However, the villagers do not know how this started; they just know that “there’s always been a lottery” (pg198), even before Old Man Warner was born. This shows how the villagers are blindly following a tradition that involves the death of a person without knowing why…

    • 238 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Through her ability to display the grim reality of a small idealized town, Shirley Jackson unmasks the evil of tradition in “The Lottery.” She repeats that mindless rituals are unacceptable practices. Jackson begins her writing with, “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green” (715). This first sentence gives us clues that there is not an extreme amount of emotion; it hints that the style reflects the attitudes of the villagers. The townspeople picture the lottery as normal and have no more emotion towards it than they do the flowers or the warm sunny day. The children begin collecting rocks as they are playing, and the adults…

    • 201 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Lottery, a well-known short story written by Shirley Jackson and was published in 1949. Shirley Jackson creates a story filled with lots and lots of foreshadows and symbolisms, these helps building up the tension within the reader mind to question the conclusion of the story. The main focal theme of The Lottery is the danger of blindly following tradition, the author used this theme as a mirror to reflect on the society. The Lottery is worth reading because the message Jackson used to portray the modern day society about its tradition, to question for its purpose and outcomes. Throughout the story the author used a variety of techniques to bring together the whole concept of the story, some of the techniques are foreshadowing, symbolism…

    • 127 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    This is a story about a small rural village that holds its annual lottery. Families in the village participate and the lottery starts by one representative from each family pulling a piece of paper from the black box the one who gets the paper with the black spot is stoned to death as per tradition of the lottery. This world that is created by Shirley Jackson in “The Lottery” is a dystopia.…

    • 415 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a short story that without the symbolism of its characters, would amount to little more than an odd tale about a stoning. However, because of what each character represents and the way the setting helps to magnify those representations, it becomes a short story that is anything but short of meaning. The first character is probably the most obviously symbolic character of the story. Every word that leaves Old Man Warner’s Mouth reeks of tradition. He never stops criticizing new ideas about the lottery, the way it is run, or complaining about how things have changed for the worst, etc., etc. When Mr. Adams tells him that the residents of a neighboring village are considering doing away with the lottery, he says…

    • 1105 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    “The lottery” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. In 1951 it was published in the magazine “The New Yorker”. The story is about a small village that seems normal with a positive attitude to life and everything in it but in the end Jackson portrays how humans can be evil by writing about a women who is loved by everyone in the village and has many close friends and family within the village but is stoned to death by the people in the village including by her family and friends due to their beliefs that if they stone one person to death every year then their crops will grow. It shocked the readers immensely because it had such an unexpected ending to it. I am going to show in this essay how Shirley Jackson uses literary techniques to create depth of meaning in “The lottery”.…

    • 1067 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    It is clear that Shirley Jackson chose to write “The Lottery” based on the Holocaust. In the Holocaust and the story, the end goal was to have a perfect society. Every year a lottery is held for everyone in the town. The winner ends up being killed. For example, Old Man Warner and Mr. Adams were talking about how the town gets better after the lottery, “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson 1). This example proves that the story is an allegory for the Holocaust because innocent people were being killed for no reason, just like what happened in the Holocaust. After the lottery, there would be more crops for the people who remain. This is like how in the Holocaust the town would be better for the people who were still living. This shows…

    • 241 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays