Shirley Jackson’s Shocking Ending in “the Lottery” Essay

801 WordsApr 21, 20134 Pages
Shirley Jackson’s shocking ending in “The Lottery” Would you like to win the lottery? Most people would answer with a “yes” to this question. Winning the lottery is always associated with happiness, joy and the beginning of a new and better life. On the other side, Shirley Jackson makes her readers discover a different lottery where winning acquires a whole new meaning. Jackson’s lottery is a source of fear and a lack of emotions hidden under the beautiful appearances. In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson reveals an objective narrator, choses the heavenly beauty and serenity of a summer day as the setting and defines the characters as a united and friendly community to create a happy environment that strongly contrasts the tragic ending and shocks the reader. The objective narrator disguises any inside thoughts or fears of the characters behind their apparent joy and excitement and therefore effectively camouflages the shocking ending. An objective narrator cannot go inside the character’s mind and therefore reveals only what he sees. The author choses this strategy to conceal the fear and tension the characters experience inside. For the majority of the story, the objective narrator makes the reader believe that the lottery is just a usual one where all the villagers are excited to win it. But near the end of the story, when the winning family is announced the reader can feel through their reaction the fear and tension and realize that something is wrong with this lottery: “Bill Hutchinson was standing quiet, staring down at the paper in his hand” (392). The reader manages to realize the tragedy through actual facts and reactions and not with the help of an omniscient narrator that reveals him the character’s thoughts. This discovery has a huge impact on the reader. A familiar and charming setting such as the radiant summer day in a prosperous town blinds the
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