College Writing II
27 March 2013
Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery is a short story about a small village that has an event every year called the lottery. Jackson does not let the reader know right away about the irony of the lottery; it is not something the villagers would want to win. Jackson does not give away the consequences of the lottery until the end of the story. Jackson applies some strong literacy devices in her story. She manages to manipulate the reader during the story through the setting, foreshadowing point-of-view and themes.
The setting of The Lottery is deceiving at first because Jackson describes the village on a warm hot summer day. The children of the village have just gotten out of school. The story has children playing outside and adults discussing the yearly lottery. Jackson sets the scene as a happy day that everyone is getting ready for the lottery. Jackson does not let the reader know at the time that it is a day of violent sacrifice. People were not worried or scarred but instead laughing and having a good time. The setting for the story is very specific and misleading until the final part of the story. Jackson, while describing the setting of the beautiful day, subtlety uses foreshadowing. Jackson does this very well while describing the children. “They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed (Jackson 367).” It appears as if Jackson had a significant idea for introducing this symbol. Jackson not only shows foreshadowing with the children with their stones but also the adults. The adults, who should be more concerned and frightened about the upcoming events, were also not phased by it. “Soon the men began to gather, surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes.” The adults made it seemed like it was any other day talking about some previous events and not just the lottery....
Cited: Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Mercury Reader. Boston: Pearson Custom, 2010. 366-374
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