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The False Assumptions Of A Lottery. This Essay Is Based On Shirley Jackson's Story, The Lottery.

1059 words - 4 pages

The False Assumptions of a LotteryThe thought of a lottery, brings to mind the idea of winning money, prizes, and bonuses. However, In Shirley Jackson's, The Lottery, the word has a completely different meaning. In this lottery, the winner sacrifices his/her life so the rest of the town's people can have food during the year, until the next lottery. The lottery is a tradition these people have been following. The nature of this tradition is contrasted to the square dances, the teen club, and the Halloween program, which are held at the same town square. This makes the lottery seem as joyful as the other activities, when in reality the lottery is very inhumane. The way the story is written makes the reader think that the lottery is a winning event, when in reality the author creates an unexpected ending by revealing the cruelty of this lottery through false impressions in the story by contrasting the setting and the actions.The setting and the actions are contrasted in The Lottery because the setting does not predict the outcome, creating a completely different meaning to the lottery. The text of The Lottery starts with a description of the morning of June 27th. The day is described as "clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day" (1). This description makes the reader believe that the story will have a happy ending, because the idea of warmth and sun creates a happy setting and a good mood. When reading the first lines of the story, the reader visualizes happiness in the people of the small town. This setting makes it hard to predict that something bad can happen on such a beautiful day because there is no foreshadowing of horror in the setting. The peaceful setting makes it hard to accept a shocking end.The story continues to unfold as the people gather in the town square. When the villagers begin gathering at the square, where the lottery takes place, the children are the first ones to gather. The use of children continues to create a calm and happy setting, contrasting the ending of the story. The gathering of children makes the lottery seem like a joyful event since children will be present, and it seems unlikely that children would take part in a fatal event. By society's standards, both now and in the 1940's, when the story was first published, children are reflected on as innocent beings, not participants in acts of violence. The boys collect stones, while the girls talk among themselves. There seems nothing wrong with the picture that the author paints of boys playing with stones because that's what boys do. In the end of the story, the stones are thrown at the person who is chosen in the lottery. The cruel idea of stones being used to kill someone does not enter the mind of the reader since the setting of the kids seems normal. The children are used to create a peaceful setting since they are not presented as cruel people. The thought of children participating in this inhumane lottery contrasts the setting of the story...

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