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Paper Topic:

Plot structure of `The Lottery`

Plot structure of `The Lottery




Specific Settings and Objects


A box

Traditional vs Unusual Lottery

Differences and Similarities

Reaction of the Crowd

Conclusion Shirley Jackson is a prominent American writer who represents the XX century literature . Shirley Jackson , best known for unrealistic stories of horror , first published her short story The Lottery ' in 1948 Thesis The plot structure is clearly set out , with few diversions of sub-plot and with obvious contrasts of events and symbols which create a story conflict

and support plot development

The story consists of several frames which force readers to rethink the events and interpret them in a different manner according to behavior and thoughts of the main characters and symbols . From the very beginning , the events of the story are arranged in such a way that a reader cannot grasp the exact meaning of the lottery . Shirley Jackson hides the meaning and `misleads ' readers about real events take place in the town . Using this technique , she creates a story conflict based on specific settings and objects , acute irony and symbolism . In some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 2th , but in this village , where there were only about three hundred people , the whole lottery took less than two hours (Jackson , n .d . From the very beginning readers are expected an exiting story about a traditional lottery and enormous fortune of one of the characters . For a while readers understand that a process of the lottery depicted in the story is a traditional one , but the prize will be incredible and unexpected . Children who gather stones and jokes in the crowd create a tension and force readers to rethink events they have read about . [Children] made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys (Jackson , n .d . These thematic events are closely connected with one another creating a serious and sensitive impression of dark nature of human beings suppressed by old traditions . The next stage of the conflict is of a box which symbolizes old traditions and values . The readers do not expect a tragedy but they suspect something wrong is going on : The black box grew shabbier each year : by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color (Jackson , n .d . Old values and believes have dominated in the society for so long that people are afraid to change something

The symbolic interpretation of the events , comparison and contrast between the meaning of traditional lottery and the lottery depicted by Jackson hold readers ' attention . The plot structure and dramatic meaning is shaped by horror and unknown . Shirley Jackson pays a special attention to the setting in the story . The setting reflects inner psychological state of the characters and helps readers grasp the idea follow plot development and conflict resolution . It is important to...

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