Shirley Jackson is to be considered one of the best authors of the 1900’s. Her style of writing reeled in readers from all different ages. She can be creepy, hilarious, and inspiring to the eyes that see her words. In Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery, she keeps the reader on the edge of their seat wanting to continue reading beyond the final word. She uses literary devices to shape her story to grab her readers attention all throughout the story. By using these literary devices, Shirley Jackson shows off her dark and twisted side as well as her fantastic writing style to emphasize why she is one of the writers of her generation.
Shirley Jackson takes great care in creating a setting for the story, The Lottery. She gives the reader a sense of comfort and stability from the very beginning. It begins, "clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." The setting throughout The Lottery creates a sense of peacefulness and tranquility, while portraying a typical town on a normal summer day.
Coulthard describes the attitude of the villagers like this: “the others are willing to risk their own lives for the sheer pleasure of an unpunished annual killing” (226). The fact that they are risking their lives for the lottery ritual pushes the nature of it from simple meanness to sadistic malice. The failure to remember the real reason for the ritual has caused this shift in human nature and motive. The ritual of the lottery should have been discontinued at this point because no real reason exists for it.
Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a story littered with warnings and subtext about the dangers a submissive society can pose. While the opening is deceptively cheery and light Jackson uses an array of symbols and ominous syntax to help create the apprehensive and grim tone the story ends with. Her portrayal of the town folk as blindly following tradition represents the world during World War II when people’s failure to not mindlessly accept and heed authority lead to disastrous consequences. . Shirley Jackson uses a large array of techniques to help convey the idea that recklessly following and accepting traditions and orders can lead to disastrous consequences.
When many people think about a lottery, they think about the possibility of winning million dollar jackpots. Lottery ticket buyers hope that eventually one day, they will be the lucky winner to take home enough money to afford their greatest dreams and desires. In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” the lottery that takes place drastically differs from the common win big lotteries of the modern day; rather, in this lottery, the citizens win big if they don’t get chosen for the lottery and get to keep their lives. Leaders of this village tell the citizens that they need to go through with this tradition In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” from 1948, she uses a Darwinism lens, criticism from current historical events, and literary elements such as foreshadowing and symbolism to show that human nature mindlessly follows tradition to be accepted in society and to survive.
"The Lottery," a short story written by Shirley Jackson, is a tale about a disturbing social practice. The setting takes place in a small village consisting of about three hundred denizens. On June twenty-seventh of every year, the members of this traditional community hold a village-wide lottery in which everyone is expected to participate. Throughout the story, the reader gets an odd feeling regarding the residents and their annual practice. Not until the end does he or she gets to know what the lottery is about. Thus, from the beginning of the story until almost the end, there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible is about to happen due to the Jackson's effective
On page 27, we see that, “There was a great deal of fussing to be done before Mr. Summers declared the lottery open. There were the lists to make up--of heads of families. heads of households in each family. members of each household in each family. There was the proper swearing-in of Mr. Summers by the postmaster, as the official of the lottery” (27). The whole process and build up towards the lottery is gradual. Jackson intensively describes each scene and portrays imagery throughout her story. This makes the story slow-paced and steady yet, detailed. Pacing also affects the mood of the story as Jackson’s detailed descriptions create a peaceful vibe and setting for the story to take place in. The pacing of the story creates suspense as vague clues emerge but, are not addressed until later on. Jackson writes everything in detail which makes the reader anxious to move forth and find out what happens to whoever is chosen for the lottery. This makes the story seem longer than it is and creates a lead in to the climax. In the text, we see that, “All right, folks." Mr. Summers said. "Let's finish quickly… Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her” (34). Throughout the whole story, Jackson describes everything in excruciating detail until we hit the climax. Once the villagers find out that Tessie received the
Tradition; it is the back bone of every culture and civilization. It is what keeps the beliefs, philosophies, and activities of societies alive, to be passed down from generation to generation. However not all traditions are practiced with pure intentions. Some activities become so routine, people don’t know a life outside of them. Societies become so accustomed to “tradition” that they will participate in pastimes without questioning the ethics or morals of the situation. Ultimately when tradition takes the place of a rationalizing mind the outcome can be incredibly dangerous. The role of tradition is an underlying theme in the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, forcing readers to ask themselves “At what point do
“The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” (Twain). The Lottery begins during the summer. A small, seemingly normal, town is gathering to throw the annual “Lottery”. In the end, the townspeople—children included—gather around and stone the winner to death, simply because it was tradition. The story reveals how traditions can become outdated and ineffective. “I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives” (Jackson). As humans develop as a race, their practices should develop with them. Shirley Jackson develops the
Traditions are widespread among many different people and cultures; It is an explanation for acting without thinking. Not all traditions are a good thing, though, and blindly following them can lead to harsh consequences. The villagers in a small town in “The Lottery” gather together annually to participate in this tradition, where one person in the town is randomly chosen in a drawing to be violently stoned to death by citizens. It has been around for seventy-seven years and everyone partakes in it. People always attend, showing the importance of tradition amongst the society. However, in the short story, “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson uses many literary devices to show that traditions are not always meant to be followed.
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.
"The Lottery", is a story about how people stick to tradition. It describes how painstakingly people do not give up tradition and would rather kill someone than give it up. In the beginning, all of the townspeople are gathered in the TownSquare just as they do every year on this day. All the man and women are
In the story there is only one explanation as to why the lottery is used. This explanation is given by Old Man Warner, who himself has survived seventy six lotteries. Old Man Warner states, “Used to be a saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (77). According to this, the lottery was used as a ritual to promote a plentiful harvest season. In all societies the success of agriculture is vital to survival. Farmers “can only wait and hope” that the harvest season will be successful. From this hope, meaningless rituals are created, even when the ritual has no direct relationship (Griffin 44). The townspeople would sacrifice one of their citizens in hopes that it would in some way or another affect the results of the harvest.
In today’s society we perceive the lottery as being a great fortune brought down upon you by Lady Luck. It is a serendipitous event, even if the person has done nothing to earn it. One would never see the lottery as an unfortunate occasion that occurred in your life because it is supposed to bring prosperity into your life. Also, one would not dare to think that winning the lottery would bring such repercussions as injury or death. In the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the author could have used Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson as the town’s scapegoat due to their reluctance to change traditions, her horrible work ethic, and minority status as a woman.
In “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson writes about the game lottery, which makes the story very ironic. Unlike all of the other Lottery games, in this traditional version no one wants to be chosen, because that brings them the end of their life. Jackson explains how keeping up with some traditions that are part of people’s life, may not be the best choice to embrace a particular culture. Jackson uses the Lottery as an example to express her idea about the ethical issues such as; violent murder, harming people, forcefully following a tradition, and lying. All of these ethical issues are created by blindly following tradition in “The Lottery.”