Discuss the effects of setting on other elements of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

Essay by xemo69High School, 11th gradeA+, September 2006

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In every short story, setting always plays an important role as it enables us to comprehend the story more thoroughly and outlines the general theme of the story. A setting of a short story includes the time, place, and circumstance. In Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," she presents to us a tragic tradition that is held every year in a village. Through the contrast of setting and action, Shirley Jackson successfully illustrates the reluctance of people to reject outdated and inappropriate tradition.

The time is set in the "clear and sunny" morning of June 27th with the "fresh warmth of a full-summer day" (paragraph 1), making an ambience of cheerfulness and buoyancy fills the air. The village is described as a normal rural community. Furthermore, this description convinces the reader that the story will probably have a happy ending because the idea of "warmth" (paragraph 1) and sun creates a content setting and a serene mood.

When reading the first lines of the story, the reader therefore visualizes happiness in the people of the village. This setting makes it hard to predict that something bad can happen on such a beautiful day since there is no foreshadowing of horror in the setting. Also, a lottery is typically thought of as a happy event and we often relate winning a lottery to good fortune and happiness. Yet, in the story, the winner of the annual lottery will be stoned to death by all villagers along with his or her family members. The setting serves a small role in words, but adds details to enhance the feeling the reader gets throughout the story.

The story continues to unfold as three hundred people of the village start to gather in the town square. One of the foreshadowing is being used here, since the...