The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery In the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson the reader is introduced to an upcoming event in a small town held every year. The setting falsely deceives the reader making them think that the so-called lottery gathering is a typical social event. In the end it turns out that the lucky winner of the lottery is stoned to death, a very peculiar tradition. The story depicts how mankind follows illogical traditions as if blindfolded. Shirley Jackson uses narrative voice and characterization to provide social commentary on customs throughout the story. Using narrative voice within the story makes the readers ask themselves, how is this story told, and how is it affecting the story? In “The Lottery” the reader is provided with limited amount of information on the characters emotions, it is as if a reporter were only jotting down what is seen. The reader is not exposed to the conscience of each character, perhaps because the author purposely made the story highly emotional and then narrates it in an emotionless voice. The atmosphere that is described convinces the reader that it is an ordinary day in a little town, children are gathering stones, possibly to skip stones in a lake, and mothers are gathered in their groups chatting away. In the end it is evident that the same perception the reader is introduced to (a normal day in the town) can possibly be the same way the characters feel about the lottery. The lottery to them is a typical event that occurs every year. A perfect example would be, “The people of the village began to gather at the square”?the boys tended to gather together quietly for a while before they broke into boisterous play”?the girls stood aside, talking amongst themselves, looking over their shoulder at the boys”?” (Pg.130-131) It is evidently shown that the town is viewed as normal. The bucket spills as soon as the reader discovers that the boys who pick the stones, the group of wo…


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