The Lottery Essay

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Setting in “The Lottery”

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a short story that took place in a small town. The entire town gathered for the lottery on the morning of June 27th. Inside a black box were many slips of paper; most blank except one that had a dreaded black spot on it. Towards the beginning of the story, the emotional setting was fairly calm. Later, as the husband in every family drew a slip of paper, the environment gradually collected more tension, then relief when the families discovered they were safe. Until the Hutchinson family drew the black dot. The setting in “The Lottery” adds to the suspense of the story. In “The Lottery,” the setting started out almost cheery, but it was a false happiness. Mr. Summers, who organized many recreational events in town, made casual conversation with the men of the town, deliberately creating at-ease lightness. The only hint of negativity that was verbalized was when Mrs. Delacroix murmured, “Seems like we just got through the last one only last week.” That phrase showed that there must be some bit of tragedy in the lottery. The story progressed as more and more families’ names were called and the head of the family came forward and drew a slip from the black box. The setting of “The Lottery” is almost ironic. It was such a nice summer day and the coordinator of the event was even named Mr. Summers. With the exterior of a community event held on a summer morning, the story would usually continue with the happy flow of that idea. However, the people seemed quite nervous and not as relaxed as they would stereotypically be in a happy story; creating situational irony. When the characters are going against what is to be expected, it creates a bit of suspense for the result of the

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