Irony In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

796 Words 4 Pages
Although Shirley Jackson wrote a few novels and quite a lot of short stories, she is noted for her writing, “The Lottery”. Jackson was quite famous for her shocking and horror ends in her fiction writing that are quite opposing to her appearance and manner. She was noted for exploring oddness in everyday life, and The Lottery, perhaps her most classic work in this respect, studies humankind's capacity for evil within a modern, accustomed, American scenery. The title “The Lottery”, tells you about the positive circumstances of a person winning a lottery and getting a prize in exchange. However, throughout the course of the story she mentions various symbols relating death and rebirth and thus creating a pathway for the reader to a most barbaric, …show more content…
Firstly when it is the day of the lottery, Tessie Hutchinson says that she has completely forgotten about this day and was busy doing her chores. This attitude of her shows that she doesn’t take this ritual seriously, which is killing one of the villagers. How can someone forget this? Next you see that they are two men are talking about a town that has stopped carrying out the lottery. One of the men, Old Man Warner, says, “Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves” (Jackson 211). How can someone be uncivilized if they have stopped this ritual of killing someone so brutally and regard it as a yearly ritual? There is a point where one of the villagers even say let’s get done with it fast as we have more necessary chores to do. Killing for them is merely a chore to finish and go ahead and do the next …show more content…
The original ritual was although forgotten by the villagers and they even had misplaced the original box, they still remembered to use stones. “The tradition of the lottery goes back to the original founding of the town, so far back that the original rituals that accompanied it have been long forgotten, suggesting that whatever situation might have led to past prejudices no longer applies today”( D'Ammassa). The whole idea of this ritual is to bring a good harvest of corn, which was a crucial grain crop. According to most her readers, The Lottery is considered to be one of the best stories of the twentieth century. However, it is almost undoubtedly one of the most thought-provoking. Shirley Jackson uses some literary devices to create this story that is almost impossible to forget. It’s filled with symbolism, mockery and a clear understanding of how to tell a story as well as readiness to embrace controversy and accept the barbaric

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