Staying With Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

731 Words3 Pages
Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery opens with residents of the small town gathering in the village square. The Lottery soon begins, during which each head of household is called forward to draw a slip of paper from a black box. After everyone has drawn, one family, in this case, the Hutchinson family, has a slip of paper with a black spot on it. The second phase of The Lottery then follows, as each member of the family comes forward to draw another piece of paper. After unfolding the papers, Tessie Hutchinson discovers that she has the piece with the black spot, and she is then stoned to death. Jackson uses a unique method of establishing the setting of The Lottery, different from traditional methods of American Gothicism. Staying with tradition, however, she fulfills elements of this type of literature through dark events and tormented characters. Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery both diverges and follows traditional methods of American Gothicism. Although an American Gothic, Shirley Jackson uniquely presents the setting of The Lottery, breaking the traditional gothic form used when establishing a setting. Rather than opening the story in a spooky castle or abandon house, as many American Gothics do, Jackson opens The Lottery in a village bustling with the activities of a summer day. At the surface, this setting appears to be a…show more content…
Jackson presents the setting of the story with a unique spin, at first not appearing to be that of Gothic literature, however otherwise. Dark symbolism and tormented characters appear throughout The Lottery, fulfilling traditional American Gothicism style. American Gothicism has unique elements that characterize it as a type of literature. However, the future of American Gothics may follow the path of The Lottery, creating unique twists in the story to keep the reader entertained, all while having traditional elements at its

More about Staying With Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

Get Access