The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson Essay

614 words - 2 pages

The Lottery


Although the writer gives ample clues throughout the story, the reader finds itself so shocked at the end of the story, he feels the impact of the stone thrown right along with Tessie. To end with such a climactic feeling, the author uses several forms of literary devices; however, the two that I will explore are setting and irony.
The day itself is a day beautiful enough for a picnic. It was "clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." (272) The descriptions here make you think of people getting together for a celebration. The author goes on to describe the children gathering together, first quietly, then later they joined together in "boisterus play." (272) Also casually mentioned is the "great pile of stones" (272) gathered by the boys. Later the men began to gather. They stood together, away from the pile of stones. (272) Again the pile of stones is mentioned, yet they seem to have no bearing in the story. And last come the women, in their faded housedresses and sweaters. The are described as gossiping as they would on any other day, although this is definitely not any other day. (273) The author has created a setting that portrays something exciting and something to be eagerly anticipated.
To achieve the dramatic effect intended, the author has also used irony. Irony exists in this story from the very beginning in the form of the title of the story, "The Lottery." We usually associate the term "lottery" with something good—something we would like to win. In this story, however, the person who wins the lottery is actually the loser, that is, they are to be stoned.
Irony is also...

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