Figurative language is a strategy that authors have used over the years to give the reader different perspectives on the piece that they are reading about. In her short Story, “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson writes about a small town that has a tradition known as the lottery. The way that the lottery works, is that there is black box with pieces of paper in it. The pieces of paper have the family names of every family in town. The last name standing then has to go into an elimination round with the people within the family. Each family member draws out of the black box, and the family member that pulls the slip of paper with the black dot gets stoned to death. In her short story, Jackson utilizes symbolism in the form of Old Man Warren, the black box and the pile of stones to demonstrate how tradition can be blinding without even knowing it.
The story started when people are gathered every end of June for the annual lottery ritual in a small village. All the head of each family are required to grab a slip a slip of paper in the box that is placed in the middle of the village. The in charge of the lottery was Mr. Summer. The conflict occurs when Tessie found out that her husband Bill was the center of the Villager’s attention. There is something on the paper that he picked. Because of that Tessie can’t even accept it and she keep on yelling that it is not fair. She believed that the time given to Bill was not enough to pick the paper that he wanted from Mr. Summer. The entire Hutchinson family, are
Now that all the papers are handed out the men begin to unfold the slips of paper to reveal blank pieces of paper. However one man is left with a paper with a black dot on it. The man unlucky enough to receive this slip of paper is Bill Hutchinson. Promptly Tessie Hutchinson, Bill’s wife, begins to panic saying he didn’t have enough time to pick his paper. Being a reasonable official Mr. Summers allows Hutchinson and each of his family members to reselect a paper. Bill, his two sons, one daughter, and wife Tessie each take a paper and Tessie Hutchinson is left with the paper with the black dot. The townspeople begin to clear a space around Tessie Hutchinson. One of the younger boys from earlier in the story hands her son a stone. While she screams “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” the townspeople begin stoning her, the lottery “winner”.
When writing, authors use various writing techniques and devices to better their story. From onomatopoeia, and similes, to mood and setting, these devices are what make the stories we read astounding. Atmosphere specifically is imperative to a great writing piece as it is prevalent throughout the entire story. From the first three words to the last three words, the reader is focused on the mood they are interpreting from the storyline. In “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson, the mood is what makes the story so amazing and helps us understand the theme.
Dystopian stories works depict a negative view of "the way the world is supposedly going in order to provide urgent propaganda for a change in direction”. Often these stories have many themes that can relate to the real world. In the dystopian story “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson, many themes such as false hopes,hypocrisy, ritual, and mob mentality are expressed throughout the story. In the story everyone in a small village gather in the town square for the lottery, whoever gets chosen gets stoned to death by everyone in the town including friends and loved ones. The use of different themes throughout the story relate to the literary devices and universal storytelling elements setting, verbal irony, symbolism, and social cohesion.
Being the oldest community member, Mr. Warren is the only character in the story who displays any sort of connection to its original intent. The younger members of the community carry out the ritual in a detached manner. In addressing the difference in attitude between Mr. Warren and the other community members, A.R. Coulthard contends that, “Old Man Warner is usually taken to be the most allegorically evil devotee of custom, but he is merely the most honest”. Old man Warner is the only community member that still wants to do the lottery for its original purpose. He believes a sacrifice will bring a good harvest, while “the others are willing to risk their own life for the sheer pleasure of an unpunished annual killing” (Coulthard, A.R.). This leads readers to question whether human nature is inherently good or bad, a theme which Jackson explores through “The Lottery”
In her story “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson manages to catch the readers’ attention and ultimately shock them with an unexpected ending; all of which help her emphasize her critique toward the dark side of human nature and the evil that resides, sometimes, in those who we less expect it from. Jackson uses symbolism throughout the story that helps her set the mood and also makes the readers wonder and analyze the senseless violence and cruelty in their own lives.
Society today sees the lottery as an easy way to win a ginormous amount of cash just by buying a little slip of paper with a combination of numbers. The irony that Shirley Jackson uses in her short story, The Lottery, is used to the extreme by not only the title being ironic, but also within the story. The lottery is seen as a way to gain cash, but the ironic part of the title is that the reader sees it and thinks that the story will be about someone winning a big prize, yet the winner is sentenced to being stoned to death. Within the story, Shirley Jackson writes about how one member of the community ultimately chooses who wins the lottery. Another ironic thing about someone chooses the winner is that one of the communities sons picked his own father to win the lottery. Linda Wagner-Martin analyzes The Lottery and its irony by writing, “Bringing in the small children as she does, from early in the story (they are gathering stones, piling them up where they will be handy, and participating in the ritual as if it were a kind of play), creates a poignance not only for the death of Tessie the mother, but for the sympathy the crowd gives to the youngest Hutchinson, little Dave. Having the child draw his own slip of paper from the box reinforces the normality of the occasion, and thereby adds to Jackson's irony. It is family members, women and children, and fellow residents who are being killed through this orderly, ritualized process. As Jackson herself once wrote, "I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village, to shock the story's
The overall theme the reader should take from this story is that blindly following a ritual or a tradition can be very dangerous. The townspeople are so caught up in this tradition that they are not realizing the effects and the damage it is creating the their society. Old man Warner is a very good example of this because the way he sees it there is no problem with the lottery. He believes that it would be detrimental if the town stopped holding these lotteries because the town would take a big step back and go back to primitive times. The reader may find this very ironic because the thought of having an annual human sacrifice for
Old Man Warner is the epitome of the lottery and its tradition. He is the oldest man in town, having participated in seventy-seven lotteries total. As a steadfast advocate for keeping things exactly how they stand and someone who is threatened by the idea of change, he distinguishes all the towns and the young people who have stopped pursuing the lottery as a “pack of crazy fools” (Jackson, 27). He is trapped within the past traditions, even if they should not sustain. Being the antagonist, Old Man Warner does not veer away from the tradition, even though many others do not agree with it.
Despite the crudeness and evil of the Lottery, the village has established a set of elaborate rules that they follow to the letter right down to who is supposed to draw from the box and who is responsible for the families responsible. The village is also based on a Patriarchal system since teenage boys are given priority over their mothers when it comes to participation.
All around the world today thousands of people die from murder and the numbers increase every year. Our world is filled with violence and tragedies that keep increasing, just like in, Shirley Jackson's story “The Lottery.” The characters in a small village choose someone to stone to death each year because of tradition. As this tradition continues, more and more people die as time passes. All of the towns folk grow more and more nervous, hoping not to get picked. They gather in the town square to choose the person who is killed in this unfortunate event as you meet characters like the hutchinsons, Mr. Graves, and Mr. Summers as they go through the fear of being picked. As the children pile up stones that they use for the killing. All
there is quiet conversation between friends. Mr. Summers, who runs the lottery, arrives with a black box. The original box was lost many years ago, even before Old Man Warner, the oldest person in the village, can remember. Each year Mr. Summers suggests that they make a new box, but no one is willing to go against tradition. The people were willing to use slips of paper instead of woodchips as markers, as the village had grown too large for the wood chips to fit in the box. A list of all the families and households in the village is made, and several matters of who will draw for each family are decided. Mr. Summers is sworn in as the official of the lottery in a specific ceremony. Some people remember that there used to be a song and salute as part of the ceremony, but these are no longer performed. Tessie Hutchinson arrives in the square late because she has forgotten what day it was. She joins her husband and children before the lottery can begin. Mr. Summers explains the lottery’s rules: each family will be called up to the box and draw a slip of paper. One of the villagers tells Old Man Warner that the people of a nearby village are thinking about ending the lottery. Old Man Warner laughs at the idea. He believes that giving up the lottery would cause nothing but trouble, and a loss of civilized behavior. A woman responds that some places have already given up the lottery. Everyone finishes drawing, and each
In this comparison essay I have used of the short stories, written by two 2 very well known authors. Shirley Jackson writer of “The Lottery”, and Edgar Allan Poe writer of “The tell tale heart”. Both stories deals with 2 horrifying murder. Why would any human want to kill another human being for ridiculous reason? Reasons that will shock anyone in today's society. I will show similarities and differences in the title of the stories, POV/ narrator, and the setting in which the killing takes place and plots of the story.
Throughout this short story the audience is introduced to many characters. Bobby Martin, Mr. Summers, Mr. Graves, Mr. Martin, Baxter, Old Man Warner, Bill Hutchinson, Tessie Hutchinson, Mrs. Delacroix, Mrs. Dunbar, Watson boy, Bill Jr., Nancy, and little Davey. These characters are a key aspect to the lottery. Each character has their own feelings about the lottery at the beginning, but what happens when the lottery affects them and their family? To understand this, the thoughts of individual characters have to be explored.