The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

937 WordsNov 19, 20154 Pages
In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” a small village is preparing for an annual drawing, a tradition carried out for generations. During this ritual, the head of each household draws a blank piece of paper out of a black box. One piece of paper is marked with a single black dot and if chosen, the outcome is having the winner’s entire household draw out of the box. Whoever chooses the black dot out of the household is stoned to death by the entire village. In this instance, a husband wins to which his wife protests, and then she is the ultimate victim who is sacrificed. This story includes many literary elements like foreshadowing, warning of a future event, symbolism, symbols used in the story to represent ideas,and irony, when the contrary to what is expected to happen, occurs. Jackson uses foreshadowing, symbolism, and irony to prove the theme that it is foolish and barbaric to blindly follow tradition. The foreshadowing Jackson uses in this story helps to show how tradition should not be followed without knowing the origin. For example, small children make a “great pile of stones” (Jackson 457). Although gathering rocks seems harmless, the reason behind the children’s play is vile. The children are included in the stoning of an innocent person because the tradition has to be instilled early on so that they do not see the cruelty in the act. Jackson gives readers another sense of foreboding when Tessie, the ultimate winner, arrives to the lottery late

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