The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

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Set in 1948 and published in The New Yorker, the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson describes an annual ritual, in a small village that leads to death for an unlucky winner. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” follows the genre conventions of a classic dystopian short story through the use of symbolism and connection between specific themes from the story to many common, yet profound and complex characteristics of dystopian literature in order to implicitly and thoughtfully convince the audience to protest against the dehumanization of society and random, pointless killings as well as become aware of the government. In “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson uses symbolism to show the dehumanization of the villagers. Shirley Jackson introduces the story to the audience with a warm and pleasant approach to suggest that the lottery is just another typical annual celebration, where the winner will obtain valuable prizes. The story, then, quickly changes direction when the children gather and make “a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and [guard] it against the raids of the other boys” (Jackson 1). This leaves the audience wonders about the use of stones in the story. Toward the end of the story, the significance of stones is reemphasized when the villagers remember “to use the stones” even though they have “forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box” (Jackson 7). Jackson uses stone as a symbol to suggest how the winner will die. Furthermore, these show how…

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