The Lottery Criticism

This essay has a total of 797 words and 3 pages.

The Lottery


In many stories, settings are constructed to help build the mood and to foreshadow of
things to come. "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson is a story in which the setting sets up
the reader to think of positive outcomes. However, this description of the setting
foreshadows exactly the opposite of what is to come. In addition, the theme that we learn
of at the end leads us to think of where the sanity of some human beings lies.

The story begins with the establishment of the setting. To begin, Shirley Jackson tells
the reader what time of day and what time of year the story takes place. This is important
to get the reader to focus on what a typical day it is in this small town. The time of day
is set in the morning and the time of year is early summer. She also describes that school
has just recently let out for summer break, letting the reader infer that the time of year
is early summer. Shirley Jackson also seems to stress on the beauty of the day and the
brilliance of nature. This provides the positive outlook and lets the reader relax into
what seems to be a comfortable setting for the story. In addition, the description of
people and their actions are very typical and not anomalous. Children play happily, women
gossip, and men casually talk about farming. Everyone is coming together for what seems to
be enjoyable, festive, even celebratory occasion. However, the pleasant description of the
setting creates a facade within the story. The setting covers the very ritualistic and
brutally violent traditions such as the stoning of Mrs. Hutchinson, who dared to defy
tradition. It is very apparent that tradition is very coveted in this small, simple town.
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