A Literary Analysis of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

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The main idea of this story was the lottery, how they decided on who got chosen and what would happen to that person. From this paper I am expecting to fully understand the short story and why the things happened for. I will be researching different websites over the story and stating the reasons on why The Lottery was doing those things. By the end of this paper I hope to accomplish more research and helpful statements to understand the story.

Shirley Jackson was born in 1916 in San Francisco, California. She had a highly controversial and famous tale about a village that had an annual death ritual. She also wrote novels as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Live in the Castle but died in 1965 due to heart failure. (BIOJACK) The Lottery became one of the most significant short stories when it came out and had many readers confused due to the lack of words to express anything that was going on. Towards the end the story ends violently and it raised question on to why they would do those things.

The story is upon that once a year everyone gathers around in the square to see who will win the lottery. Which it isn't much as a win but a sacrifice because you get stoned. The villagers including the children participate in it the adults will be the ones picking out the black box while the children get stones to participate in the stoning a person. If your husband or wife didn't show up the villagers will ask how come they didn't come. Then as the story went on at the end Tessie Hutchinson wins the lottery. Everyone grabs stone and she finds it unfair because she was picked. The villagers didn't have a clue why they did this but the only reason they did it was because it was a tradition and they don't want to get rid of it.

As reading the story some lines that stood out was eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys(Jackson 2) and some imagery was the black box, stones and how the villagers knew everything that was going on in each other's lives. The story theme was that it conveys tradition and that most of them knew what was going on because it was their first time in doing this. Half of them wouldn't listen to the instructions because they already knew what was going on and what they will do as it states in the story. Old Man Warner is a character that is filled with fear because he doesn't want the tradition. The ending of the story also is very visual because your gathered in the center of the square and you're picking a slip of paper out of a black box, if you end up with a black spot on it the you were the chosen one. The person was being stoned for not a valuable reason, Tessie was just as innocent as if any other person got chosen. Shirley Jackson shows the importance and meaning of carrying a tradition in the story. All they will do was if they stoned someone to death the town will get a blessing with a fertile crop.

In the beginning of the story you never would of thought that at the end someone will die because of the words and expressions that were used. She stated in the story clear and sunny with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowering was blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.(Jackson 1) You could have thought it was about someone waking up in the summer, going to work, buying a lottery ticket and ended up winning but not stoned to death. Those words she used was a great way to use to not go straight into the story because then they're will not be a reason for her writing that story unless it was just to tell people that they were being stoned if you won. She also states how many people live there and other details of the town.

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A Literary Analysis of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. (2019, Aug 02). Retrieved February 25, 2024 , from

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