The Lottery

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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The Lotery "The Lottery", written by Shirley Jackson is violent and shocking. "The Lottery" is set in a small village on a clear summer day. Written in the third person objective point of view, "The Lottery" keeps the reader in suspense as the story progresses. Unlike most short stories which contain a great deal of imagery, "The Lottery" uses symbolism and bluntly describes each act as if it were normal. A theme is not presented directly. Extracted from the setting, action, and characters, the theme which is not evident from the beginning later goes to show how traditions that lose their significance due to human forgetfulness can cause terrible consequences to occur.

The setting in "The Lottery" adds a great deal of effect to the many themes represented in the story. The story begins June 27th on a "clear and sunny full-summer day".

From the beginning, irony occurs in the story. The author describes the day as "clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-The lottery is conducted by Mr. Summers, as he is the one that directs the "civic activities" of the town. The night before the lottery, all of the families have their names placed in a black box. The day of the lottery, Mr. Summers has each head of family draw a slip of paper from the box. When each family has selected a slip, they all open the papers together.