he Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Decent Essays
Hitting the Lottery In the beginning of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” June 27th is as normal as any other summer day in the small village. The morning was described as “clear and sunny” with “flowers blossoming profusely and the grass richly green” (Jackson, 1). The attitudes of the children are rather happy and normal as they begin to gather playing “boisterous[ly]” (Jackson, 1). By the end of the story, the beautiful, normal summer day as described in the beginning is a day that every member, including the children, of the town partakes in a public stoning of a member of their village. In this dark and unpredictable short story, Shirley Jackson uses tone and objects to convey a message of tradition and murder. The tone in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” changes from happy to cautious to horrific. The tone not only creates a feel for the reader but it also reflects how the characters in the story feel as well. When the people are described as happy in the beginning, the reader is at ease, expecting nothing; however, a feeling of nervousness falls on the reader as the men in the crowd of villagers “[held] the small folded papers in their large hands [while] turning them over and over nervously” (Jackson, 4). The reader doesn’t know why the men with the slips of paper are nervous which causes him or her to become anxious and nervous as well. When a “stone hit [Mrs. Hutchinson’s] on the side of her head,” the tone quickly shifts from anxiety to disbelief and horror
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