Literary Analysis Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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This is a literary analysis essay about a short story “The Lottery” By Shirley Jackson. Jackson’s writing style is considered to be a “gothic fiction” that refers to a style of writing that is characterized by “elements of fear, horror, death, and gloom, as well as romantic elements, such as nature, individuality, and very high emotion.” ( In this essay, I will be analyzing a short storyThe Lottery” by Shirley Jackson based on these areas: setting, tone, foreshadowing, and characterization.
According to, a short story “The Lottery” was originally published on June 28, 1948. The lottery as portrayed in the short story, is a ceremony and a religious tradition that happens once a year in a small town village, where all its residents participate in the game.
The setting in “The Lottery” is a very important element because it shapes the mood and tone of the story. For example, in the very beginning Jackson is giving the reader a very vivid and welcoming picture by portraying the setting of the story as “the morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day.” (Jackson 291) Everything in this sentence seems calm and peaceful until we find the very first example of foreshadowing in this sentence “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys.” (292) When reading Shirley Jackson’s stories there are many questions that come to mind and remain unanswered. Why do the local kids collect the stones? Why are they picking the smoothest and roundest ones? Is Jackson trying to tell us something? Even though the village seems normal and quiet, it’s hiding some secrets that the reader will discover later on.
Before the lottery started Jackson is giving the reader some clues that the lottery is not what it seems to be when Mr. Summers says, "guess we better get started, get this over with, so's we can go back to work. Anybody ain't here?"(295) This sentence makes the reader wonder why the villagers would not want to play the game and get it
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