The Lottery Critical Analysis

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a classic American short story that tells the tale of a small town that participates in a horrific annual tradition. The story follows the townspeople as they go about their everyday lives, leading up to the moment when they must choose one person to sacrifice. The lottery is portrayed as a very dark and disturbing event, and Jackson does an excellent job of making the reader feel the tension and suspense that comes with it. The story is a great example of the power of tradition, and how it can be used to control people. It is also a reminder of how dangerous it can be to blindly follow traditions without question.

The tale ‘The Lottery’ was written by Shirley Jackson, and the author builds up suspense toward the end of the story. The narrative takes place in a little town where people are friendly and tradition is important. A lottery is held annually in which one individual in the village is chosen at random by a drawing to be brutally stoned by friends and relatives. This is a traditional custom that is said to promote good agricultural results. Every resident of the community participates in the lottery drawing, which has been taking place for more than 77 years.

The story looks at the role of tradition in society and how it can be used to control people. The lottery is a tradition that is used to control the people in the town, as it gives them something to focus on and something to fear. The lottery is also used to keep people in line, as it is a way of reminding them of their place in society. The story is a warning about the dangers of blindly following tradition and not questioning why things are done. It is also a reminder that even the most innocent seeming traditions can have dark and dangerous consequences.

The opening of the tale is drastically different from the conclusion; at first, we have no clue what the lottery is, and we don’t realize it’s responsible for someone’s death every year. We should believe it’s a typical lottery in which numbers are chosen; however, by the end of the narrative, we discover that we couldn’t have been more wrong. The tone is surprisingly bright early on in the story, and there is a genuine sense of normality. As a result of this surprise at the conclusion of the narrative, suspense builds as we learn that “The Lottery” isn’t our usual lottery.

The story is set in a small village, on a Summer’s day. The villagers are all very friendly to each other and seem to know each other well. The author uses excellent descriptive language to create an image of the setting. The village sounds like a lovely place to live, with green grass and flowers everywhere. We get the impression that the people who live there are very traditional as they still use ‘Old man Warner’ who is the oldest man in the village, as their guide for the lottery.

He has been attending the lottery for seventy-seven years and says that when he was young, people were much more superstitious about it than they are now. This suggests that over time, the lottery has lost its meaning for the people and they no longer believe in it as much as they used to. The lottery is very important to the village as it is something that has been passed down from generation to generation.

The way that Shirley Jackson has written the story, we do not find out what the lottery is until the end. She does this by gradually building up suspense throughout the story. The author uses foreshadowing effectively to hint at what is going to happen. For example, when Tessie Hutchinson arrives late for the lottery, her husband says ‘clean forgot what day it was’. This makes us think that maybe Tessie knew what was going to happen and was trying to avoid it. The fact that Old man Warner thinks that getting rid of the lottery would be foolish also suggests that something bad is going to happen. The use of foreshadowing creates a sense of unease in the reader as we wait to find out what the lottery is.

When we finally find out what the lottery is, it is a huge shock. The fact that it is a person who gets stoned to death every year is very shocking. The way that Shirley Jackson has written the story, we feel just as shocked as the character of Tessie Hutchinson when she realizes she has been chosen. The villagers seem to accept what happens without question and this makes us question their morals. The ending of the story is extremely powerful and leaves us feeling shocked and disturbed.

In conclusion, Shirley Jackson has written an excellent short story which is full of suspense. The use of foreshadowing is effective in hinting at what is to come. The ending is shocking and leaves us feeling disturbed. The story makes us question the morals of the villagers.

During her narrative, Shirley Jackson fails to disclose crucial information, as we are not informed explicitly what the lottery is. The violent ending and coda of “The Lottery” were foreshadowed in many of the details given to us throughout the story. Children put stones in their pockets and build piles of stones in the town square until it’s revealed that they’re there for a sinister purpose at the conclusion of the tale.

The black box is also a key symbol in “The Lottery” as it represents tradition and the blind following of said tradition. The box is old and battered, showing that the lottery has been around for a long time. The fact that it is black also suggests death, which is ironic as the winner of the lottery will be killed.

When Tessie Hutchinson is selected as the winner of the lottery, she protests and says that it isn’t fair. This shows that she does not want to die, despite the fact that she has participated in the lottery every year. Her husband tries to comfort her, saying that it isn’t anyone’s fault, again highlighting the blindness of following tradition without question. The fact that Tessie Hutchinson is the one to be killed also makes her a symbol of sacrifice. She is giving up her life so that the crops will be good and her family will be safe.

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a short story that uses symbolism to hint at the violent climax of the tale. The stones, black box, and Tessie Hutchinson are all key symbols in the story which help to foreshadow the ending.

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