Ironic Readings, “The Lottery"

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Shirley Jackson, the author of the short story, "The Lottery," uses the setting to portray an ironic ending to the story. It begins, "The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green" (255). Jackson starts off telling the story by giving the reader a sense of comfort and stability, by creating a typical town to be peaceful and tranquil. When Jackson says, "the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green," she gives the reader a serene feeling about the town (255).

Jackson also mentions that school has just recently let out for summer break, which of course allows the children to run around at that time of day. In her story she states, "Bobby martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones" (255).

By this, she foreshadows what is about to happen in the ending, but doesn't completely give it away. She writes, "The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank" (255). In this case, this sentence proves the smallness of the town, also mentioning that the author didn't include describing a church or a courthouse. Furthermore, there seems to be no central governing body for this town, such as a court or a police station.

The author then starts to talk about the details of the story by what she sees and knows, but not mentioning what is inside of the reader's minds. "The villagers kept their distance, leaving a space between themselves and the stool…" portraying that there is something bad about the black box that is...