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Shirley Jackson, The Lottery Essay

950 words - 4 pages

Shirley Jackson sets out to weave a disturbing story that reveals the underlying blackness of a seemingly happy community in, “The Lottery”. Jackson masterfully uses writing strategies to craft a solidly thrilling story. The story’s voice is that of an objective third view that plunges the reader into the sleepy little village. Author Shirley Jackson sets her readers right into the middle of a small village and sets about weaving her story into the very mind of her audience. “The Lottery” contains several smartly used writing techniques. Each of these techniques breathes life into the story. Sprinkled throughout the story are instances of figurative language that opens the readers mind to the possibility. One use of figurative language is imagery and another is the author’s use of symbols. Jackson use of the third person point of view allows for an unobstructed picture of the occurrences in the village, letting readers draw some of their own conclusions. One of the best uses of writing techniques, by the author, is the foreshadowing throughout the story. Shirley Jackson masterfully uses several writing techniques to craft a solidly thrilling literary work.
Jackson paints a vivid word picture of the village, "The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green (Jackson 263).” Now the reader feels the warm day and smells the flowers and the rich green grass. Jackson also creates characters that speak to the reader, little boys collecting pebbles, small children rolling in the dirt, and young girls whispering and talking quietly. The author gives a good amount of detail on about the mothers’ quiet manners and faded house dresses, all which give a general feeling of a content life in a small village. The author also uses imagery to describe the details of the box. Through the words the reader can see the shabby box with stains. The reader can feel the roughness of the splintered side and see the glaring need for new paint. The box is in fact an ugly old box, and Jackson shows the reader this instead of simply stating it.
The lottery itself is a symbol of all the different traditional holidays that are celebrated without any thought of how or why these traditions came to be. Also the black box represents several things; one is death as it is a black box much like a coffin, another representation is of the religious books that are handed down, with many of the text ordering persecution and death for those that don’t meet the qualifications of the religious manual. The ugliness of the box itself is a symbol for the ugliness of the murder that will soon take place. The stains on the box...

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