Lottery Analysis Essay

1514 WordsJun 8, 20107 Pages
This Lottery is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. It was first published in the New Yorker on June 26th 1948. The story takes place on June 27th in a small American village with a population of around 300 people. June 27th is the annual celebration of the lottery, which, in the story, takes places on the same day in nearly every city, town and village. Every person in the village has to take place in the lottery. Due to the small size of the population, the takes place in less than two hours. The townspeople gather in the town square where Mr. Summers, the lottery official, and each head of household draws a slip of paper from an old black box. One of the characters, Tessie Hutchinson, arrives at the event at the last minute,…show more content…
The first paragraphs paint a picture of an idyllic rural area where everything seems perfect and serene. However this couldn’t be further away from the truth and as the story progresses it becomes clear that, beneath the flowers and sunshine, the village hides a dark secret. The opening of the story serves to increase the impact the gruesome ending has on the reader. Irony is also present as the story reaches its ending, specifically when Davy Hutchinson is spared the execution on this day, and the crowd is relieved. It is clear that the townspeople believe that the murder of a mother is preferable to the murder of a young boy, even though the act in itself is completely unnecessary. Within moments of being spared his life Davy Hutchinson is handed pebbles. He is expected to take part in the murder of his mother and be involved in the same horrific ritual that he just escaped. The older children are happy when they find out they didn't ‘win’ the lottery, even though they know that their mother is about to die. Foreshadowing plays a large part in the story and serves to build suspense as the outcome of the lottery is slowly revealed. It gradually becomes clear that this is not an ordinary lottery and the author uses several situations to express this. As the men gather, they do not approach the pile of stones that the boys in the village have been gathering. It almost feels like no-one wants to be involved in the drawing process because when Mr. Summers arrives with

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