“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”.
The story has an ironic …show more content…
The narrator talks about the black box in the story and how they use it to pick out the pieces of paper for the ritual. Although at first it appears not to have any significance, it is very important to the story:
“The black box grew shabbier each year: by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side, showing the original wood colour, and in some places faded or stained”
The word “black’ has connotations of death and darkness which suggests whatever the box is used for is a negative thing and rather unpleasant. Also the word “faded” shows how long they have been doing the ceremony and that they have been sticking to their tradition for many years. Furthermore, the word “stained” reflects that the villagers are stained with guilt of what they have done and the tradition , almost as if they are stuck in their old fashioned ways of life which shows how the people in their society are not individuals and do not speak up to voice their own