The Lottery by Shirley Jackson makes use of a number of literary elements to convey its message and create tension. These elements include symbolism, irony, foreshadowing, and setting.
Symbolism is used to suggest different underlying meanings to certain elements of the story. For example, the black box used in the lottery symbolizes the tradition and darkness of the town, while the stones represent violence and the grim reality of the situation.
Irony is also used in the story. Despite the tradition being a “lottery,” there is no celebrating that day as it is a somber and gruesome ritual. The tradition is seen as a good thing and something sacred, but it ultimately leads to the death of one of their own.
The setting of the story is also important. It is a small town, and the characters all know each other. This helps build tension and suspense as the reader, like the townspeople, know that one of the characters, who they are familiar with, will die.
Finally, Jackson uses foreshadowing to make the reader anticipate the outcome. The lottery is in its “seventy-seventh year,” suggesting that despite its gruesome reality, the tradition carries on and is likely to carry on for years to come.
There is also the mention of a tradition at the beginning of the story that hints at how the lottery will play out in the end.
Through the use of symbolism, irony, setting, and foreshadowing, Jackson creates a powerful and thought-provoking story that serves as a reminder of the danger of blindly accepting tradition.
How does The Lottery use literary devices?
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson uses several literary devices to create the atmosphere of unease, surprise and tension. Jackson utilizes irony to give the story a sense of foreboding; the blissful, sunny day that introduces the story contrasts starkly with the gruesome outcome of the lottery.
The author also uses suspense, gradually revealing more information to the reader as the story progresses but withholding the most important element – the winner of the lottery – until the very end. Symbolism is also a key device featured in the story.
The lottery itself is a symbol for the randomness and unsuspected nature of violence and injustice, and the black box signifies how tradition can maintain a false sense of morality. Jackson also uses dramatic irony to heighten the suspense, as the characters remain unaware of the dark consequences of the lottery until it is too late.
Finally, Jackson’s minimalist dialogue greatly adds to the mysterious feeling of the story and helps convey her message.
How is foreshadowing used in The Lottery?
Foreshadowing is often used to build suspense in stories, and that is certainly the case in Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery’. The use of foreshadowing in this story hints at the cruel fate that awaits the protagonist.
As the story progresses, the reader starts to get an uneasy feeling of dread, knowing something terrible is coming, but not quite sure what it is.
One of the earliest suggestions of foreshadowing is in the title itself. The lottery is typically a positive thing, associated with luck, but in this story it refers to a ritual that will result in the death of one of the villagers.
This immediately creates an aura of anticipation, and a sense of trepidation about what will come.
The detailed descriptions of the villagers and their festive clothing also hint at something sinister being about to happen. When Tessie Hutchinson is chosen as the ‘winner’ of the lottery, the reader knows something very wrong is about to take place.
It is during this scene that some of the most direct foreshadowing is used, with the children being sent away to collect stones, and the villagers warning Tessie not to delay.
The dark turn that ‘The Lottery’ takes is greatly enhanced by the use of foreshadowing, which creates an air of mounting suspense as the truth is slowly revealed.
What type of irony is most present in the lottery?
The type of irony most present in “The Lottery” is dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is when the audience or reader knows something that the characters in the story do not. This tension between what the reader knows and what the characters know is a driving force in the story.
In “The Lottery,” the reader knows that one person will be chosen to be stoned, but characters are unaware of this horrible truth. The story’s title itself hints at the irony, as “the lottery” implies a game of luck and chance, instead of a sacrifice of an innocent person.
As the reader learns more about the lottery, the dread increases and the irony grows even stronger. The tension that builds up throughout the story is part of the ironic dynamic, as the reader knows more than the characters.
When the shocking truth of the lottery is revealed, it is clear how ironic the situation is.
What is the irony of the title the lottery?
The irony of the title of Shirley Jackson’s story “The Lottery” is that the protagonist, Tessie Hutchinson, is the one selected in the seemingly innocent “lottery” – which turns out to be a horrifying ritual, in which the townspeople draw lots and sacrifice a human by stoning.
This highlights the idea that the lottery – which can often be seen as a positive, luck-based event – can sometimes have a sinister and fatalistic outcome. It also speaks to the reality that many societies still practice rituals and traditions that might seem bizarre or even barbaric to a modern audience.
The irony of the title is a perfect representation of the dark undertones of the story, and a reminder to viewers that sometimes, even in seemingly normal situations, a certain amount of unease and potential for danger can lie beneath the surface.
What is the example of situational irony in the lottery?
An example of situational irony in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is the villagers’ excited anticipation of the yearly event that turns out to be far from celebratory. While the idea of winning the lottery is typically seen as a joyful and exciting occasion, the villagers’ lottery ends in a life-ending sentence for the winner.
The villagers accept this horrific consequence, as if it were a natural part of their lives, representing the ultimate ironic twist in the story. Additionally, the lottery is conducted in a seemingly peaceful, pastoral village where one would not expect such a violent act, further adding to the irony.
This pushes the bounds of what is generally accepted as normal, highlighting the sheer absurdity of the villagers’ actions and the painful randomness of their fate.
Is The Lottery Gothic literature?
No, the lottery is not typically categorized as Gothic literature. Gothic literature is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance, and is often set in a dark or haunted atmosphere.
The lottery, while it definitely has an unnerving atmosphere, is more of a social commentary, as it explores and condemns the power of tradition and the danger of blindly following a crowd. Therefore, it does not really fit neatly into the definition of Gothic literature.
How is irony used in the story the lottery?
Irony is used throughout the story “The Lottery” to create suspense and open readers up to potential meanings and interpretations. In particular, this type of literary device is used to contrast the town’s normal activities with the horrific event they carry out as part of their ancient lottery tradition.
At first, it appears that the town is coming together to celebrate a day that everyone looks forward to, but this is quickly juxtaposed when it is revealed they are gathering to conduct their annual stoning of the lottery’s “winner”.
This use of irony creates a suspenseful effect with its drastic change in tone as readers realize that what seemed to be a happy event is actually something much more sinister.
The irony is furthered when the author emphasizes how routine the lottery has become for the town, noting “it had been exciting and pleasurable as usual”. This is a stark contrast to the reality of what is actually happening and the gruesome events that follow.
Furthermore, the ironic ending is perhaps the most powerful part of the story. Readers expect that the victim of the lottery is Mrs. Hutchinson, however, it is revealed to be her own husband. This is a powerful and ironic twist that shocks the reader and emphasizes the pointlessness of the lottery and its pervasiveness in this small town.
Irony is a powerful literary device that is used to good effect in “The Lottery”. By using irony, the author is able to create suspense and contrast the seemingly mundane activities of the town’s normal day and their horrifying rite of passage.
Ultimately, this creates an impactful story that sets the tone and plants a seed in the minds of readers to think deeper and draw their own interpretations.