The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson Essay

785 Words 4 Pages
“The Lottery”
In the short story of “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, an annual lottery draw takes place in an anonymous small town in New England. The lottery draw has been practiced for over 70 years. This is where one person is randomly chosen to be stoned to death by people in the village. There are many different themes going on in the short story, but one that stands out the most is family. “The Lottery” has an interesting way of connecting emotional bonds between a mother to child, husband to wife, and friend to friend, and making them unimportant. Once a villager is chosen to be stoned to death, all of the other families resort back to their importance, except for the ones who have a lost member. The author does a great job of creating irony by ending the story completely opposite from the upbeat impression she starts it off with, by making sure everyone shows up even though someone will be stoned to death, and the character’s names.
The author makes this short story very memorable by using irony. According to the website,, “irony is expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite typically for humorous or emphatic effect” ( The author uses irony by making sure everyone in the small town of 300 people, makes it to this terrible occasion, but in reality, they really just want a higher chance of losing. She even had descriptions of the children that were so ready for this event. She states “Bobby Martin…

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