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Paper Topic:

Poem `The Lottery` by Shirley Jackson

p Dangerous Societal Tendencies

A social issues explore through the use of irony in Shirley Jackson 's The Lottery





Semester The Lottery ' by Shirley Jackson is a depiction of a small town and it 's annual lottery . Villagers congregate in the village square and there is a great deal of excitement over the day 's events . Families chat with each , gossip about daily life , and anticipate the outcome of the lottery . In the process the reader learns the history of the lottery including

the traditional use of it in this specific village It is unclear to the reader , for much of the story , exactly what the lottery is and what the winner will receive . Once the winning family is chosen a family member is selected and that is the winner of the lottery . In this case Mrs . Hutchinson , the mother , is the winner and is then stoned to death by the townspeople and her own family . Due to these shocking events it would be easy to explain the cruelty by blaming it on the crazy ' inhabitants of this isolated village . However , it is clear that Jackson was commenting on the dangerous tendencies of society and human nature . Jackson achieves this effect through the use of irony throughout the short story

Irony can be found within the title , The Lottery . The implication is that who ever is the winner of lottery will receive a special prize However , it is not until almost the end of the story that the narrator reveals that the chosen individual does not win a prize but will be stoned to death by their family and friends . The reaction of most readers to this fact is disgust and astonishment . Irony can also be found in the of the setting and surrounding people . The story begins as a nostalgic look at small town life . The reader is introduced to the setting , the townspeople , and the lottery . Jackson instills a great deal of excitement about the lottery in the story and the reader is anxious to know the outcome . Talk of the lottery is interspersed with other talk of the town 's events and there is no mention of what the lottery actually is . This allows the reader to believe it is positive activity that will have a positive outcome

The lottery is obviously a normal yearly event that people look forward too . Jackson writes The children assemble first (27 ) and their talk was still of the classroom and teacher (27 . Soon the reader receives it 's first hint that the lottery may not be as casual as Jackson and the townspeople would like reader believe . Bobby Martin is seen stuffing his pockets full of stones , and the other boys soon followed his example (28 ' The implication that the stones will be used in the lottery is clear but the specific purpose is still unclear As story continues the reader is shocked by the real purpose of the lottery . The killing of a random person...

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