Theme Of Irony In The Lottery

801 Words 4 Pages
In today’s society winning the lottery means an improvement to our life where we get some type of reward, usually a big amount of money. However in Shirley Jackson 's short story winning the lottery isn’t all rewarding. In “the lottery” Jackson leads us to believe that one of the “lucky” townspeople will win a grand prize from the lottery but refutes this idea with literary tools such as verbal and situational irony creating suspense, to emphasize the main idea. Jackson uses his advantage as the writer of the story to also use irony to enhance the reader’s reaction at the end and strengthens the sense of cruelty by presenting a horrific tale. Irony is seen from the beginning, the title itself says “the lottery” making the reader assume that …show more content…
Delacroix and Tessie Hutchinson at the beginning of the story seem to get along perfectly fine. Tessie arrives late to the town square and Mrs. Delacroix greets her very nicely. “Mrs. Delacroix, who stood next to her and they both laughed softly.” (Paragraph 8) Despite the fact they get along, when Tessie “wins” at the end, Mrs. Delacroix grabs a stone so large and so big she has to hold it with her both hands, while she also rushes to the front of the stoning to stone Tessie to death. It’s a humans vs humans conflict, Mrs. Hutchinson is literally attacked by the other people in her small town. Which can also be seen as a small town archetype because small towns are seen as calm and homely, contradictory to this small town where they stone some “lucky” one to death as a custom. This town’s so called “traditions” is very different from others. Jackson does this to enhance the readers reactions while they read this short …show more content…
The characters know about the stoning because it’s a yearly “traditional” event. This is ironic because it makes the readers assume from the beginning that there will be a joyful event, but that idea is refuted because Jackson overemphasizes the setting to be splendid, magnificent, southern and downright to the heart. Jackson is very careful and cautious with her word choice to describe this calm, traditional town. When she uses “men began to gather… speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes.” (Paragraph 3) By using these words she really does convey the idea of a traditional town. But also refutes this when we come to the realization that one of their tradition is to stone a person to death each year. Jackson does this to show the irony in the setting, making an appeal to suspense and

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