The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay

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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Shirley Jackson takes great care in creating a setting for the story, The Lottery. She gives the reader a sense of comfort and stability from the very beginning. It begins, "clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." The setting throughout The Lottery creates a sense of peacefulness and tranquility, while portraying a typical town on a normal summer day. With the very first words, Jackson begins to establish the environment for her plot. To begin, she tells the reader that the story takes place on an early summer morning. This helps in providing a focus of the typicality of this small town, a normal rural…show more content…
Up to this point, nothing unordinary has happened, which might later reflect an ironic ending. Eventually, small hints about the unusualness of this town are added. The author points out significant buildings that surround the town square, but fails to describe a church or a courthouse, which are common buildings to all communities. In this, there seems to be no central governing body for this town, such as a court or a police station. Also, oddly enough, these people celebrate Halloween but not Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving, the largest holidays that "normal" people celebrate. However, Halloween implicates a certain proneness to defiant, evil activities. In addition, the children are building "a great pile of stones in one corner of the square." An impression of the children as normal children gathering rocks is counterbalanced by their ironical construction a massive pile of stones in one corner, as if they were punished through labor. The introduction of the black box acts as the major turning point for the setting. It symbolizes an immoral act to the villagers as "the villagers kept their distance" from it. The introduction of the black box into the setting changes the mood and the atmosphere of the residents as they become uneasy around it. Furthermore, the black box changes the

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