Deliberate Authorial Choices By Shirley Jackson

1668 WordsNov 2, 20177 Pages
Deliberate authorial choices become crucial in getting the readers attention in a said literary work. Authors spend their whole career developing techniques to create a style that is their own. Shirley Jackson shows the reader her talent in writing a pessimistic short story that she is most famous for. Her famous short story “The Lottery” is one to keep the reader interested not only in the content but in the way she presents it and the emotional toll that it has on the readers. The story follows a town which partakes in a ritualistic lottery. Each household draws from a black box and whomever draws the black circle wins. The family who wins draws again and the winner of the family gets stoned. Jackson presents an pessimistic story which…show more content…
The first speech made by Mr. Graves betrays this sort of solitude that the long sentences produce. The first line of any dialogue says “Little late today, folks” (1). This speech is short and abrupt and creates a sense of uneasiness. These short sentences give the reader minimal information during the first reading. Though not providing much information in the first reading, the reader, in their second reading can deduce much meaning from these short sentences due to their knowledge of the ending. Jackson throughout the story alters between long lulling sentences and the short abrupt sentences creating a contrast in the mood that the reader has throughout their reading. The long sentences control how the reader does not suspect anything. They contrive a light emotion up until “a stone hit her [Tessie] on the side of the head” (5). This statement is blunt and raw and instantly derives shock and disgust from the reader. It is through these key statements that Jackson creates a tone which derives emotional responses to show the inhumane traditions that people follow. Along with syntax, diction is a key component to the development of tone and ultimately theme. Jackson uses a mixture of informal and formal language to hook the reader into her story. The informal language presents itself in the dialogue within the story and the formal language presents itself through the descriptions of the story, most of which are abstract. Though abstract, they have a very concrete

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