The Lottery Essay

831 Words Sep 29th, 1999 4 Pages
When one thinks of a lottery, they imagine winning a large sum of money. Shirley Jackson uses the setting in The Lottery to foreshadow an ironic ending. The peaceful and tranquil town described in this story has an annual lottery, and you can't possibly guess what the "prize" is… The author foreshadows an ironic ending at the very beginning by establishing a cheerful setting. The story occurs "around ten o'clock" on June twenty-seventh, a time of day that is very bright and joyous and a time of year that is warm and makes people feel happy. The town's physical setting also contributes to the overall "normal" feeling of the story. The grass is described as "richly green," and the flowers are "blossoming profusely." An ironic …show more content…
Finally, the children are said to be building "a great pile of stones in one corner of the square," which is a very strange "game" for children to playing. All of these hints indicate that something strange and unexpected is going to happen, and they all make sense once we discover the story's final outcome. The introduction of the black box is a key turning point, giving the awful ominous answers to all those foreshadowing hints. When the black box is brought in, it's said to be a tradition that "no one liked to upset." The "villagers kept their distance" from the black box, as though they feared it. Also, when the black box is brought in, the mood and atmosphere of the residents noticeably changes. A "murmur of conversation" rolls through the crowd, and when the lottery official asks for help carrying the box, there's a "hesitation" before two men step forward to assist him. More and more the town's peculiarity begins to become apparent. For example, the names of certain residents hint at the irony and unfavorable events to come. Mr. Summers- the town clerk- has a last name that strangely coincides with the time of year- summertime. A Mr. Graves helps Mr. Summers store the black box for the lottery, which eerily predicts a future resting

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