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Essay On Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Inhumanity Exposed

1154 words - 5 pages

Inhumanity Exposed in The Lottery

 

The story entitled "The Lottery," written by Shirley Jackson is an intriguing and shocking parable. "The Lottery" is set in a small village on a clear summer day. Written in objective third person point of view, "The Lottery" keeps the reader in suspense as the story progresses.

          The story begins June 27th on a "clear and sunnyfull-summer day." From the very beginning, irony occurs in the story. The author describes the day as "clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." To describe such a beautiful day when the ending is so ill fated, is very ironic. The villagers, all three hundred of them, gather in the square. There is a feeling of excitement and relative normalcy as the people talk of their everyday happenings. The lottery is conducted by Mr. Summers, as he is the one that directs the "civic activities" of the town. The night before the lottery, all of the families have their names placed in a black box. The day of the lottery, Mr. Summers has each head of family draw a slip of paper from the box. When each family has selected a slip, they all open the papers together. The Hutchinson's are the "winners." The process then repeats but this time, each family member must put their name in the black box. This is where the climax occurs. Everyone waits expectantly for the final outcome to the lottery. As each slip is opened, the suspense builds and the villagers wait expectantly for the black spot that would signify the "winner." At the conclusion of the story, Mrs. Hutchinson is the "winner," and as her prize the citizens of the village stone her to death. The conclusion to "The Lottery" is another irony. Mrs. Hutchinson was the last to arrive at the square because she had forgotten what day it was. It is satirical that she, the "winner," almost did not make it to the lottery. Another example of irony at this time is when "voicesacross the crowd said, 'Bill she made it after all," when in the end, she did not "make it." A bit of foreshadowing also occurs between the climax and ending. When Mrs. Hutchinson arrives late, she makes her way through the crowd and "She tapped Mrs. Delacroix on the arm as a farewell"

          The main characters in "The Lottery" are the villagers. They are flat and stagnant in characterization in that throughout the story the villagers remain relatively nonchalant and usual. Another relevant character in this story is Tessie Hutchinson. She, in the end, is round in her characterization. When she becomes the chosen one, she finally realizes how wrong the lottery is.

          "The Lottery" has many obvious themes and symbols as well as some that are not so easily observable. One of the main themes to this story is tradition. In relation...

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