There’s always been a lottery” (1217). Old Man Warner firmly believes that the lottery is what holds the town together, and without it, the town would suffer. He has a strong belief in religion and fears change. Normally traditions are things such as family dinners, holidays, or family heirlooms passed down from generation to generation. Ironically, the tradition in this case is the murder of a villager by stoning them to death.
A motif is an element that occurs repeatedly throughout a work, in the story “The Lottery” it is tradition. Tradition is strong in the town but they do the lottery more out of habit rather because they lost the true meaning of the lottery many years ago “The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago” (pg 215). Another example of tradition is through the black box itself “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one like to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.” (pg 215). The people like having something that reoccurs without question, they are used to it and are not willing to change things right away.
Question before the Procession Shirley Jackson’s use of literary techniques in The Lottery is a true work of genius. She strategically uses irony in many places such as the story’s title, the setting an even in certain character’s personality traits. Another important literary technique used by Jackson is symbolism. The black box and the story’s title seem to create a range of associations outside themselves such as the importance of questioning irrational traditions and the unexpected nature of death. With the use of these two literary techniques, (irony and Symbolism) Shirley Jackson is able to emphasize important dramatic events within the plot.
However, his inspiration was taken from the Bubonic plague “black death” which razed England during the early 1400s. These two stories take place during two very different times and two very different settings. In Washington Irving’s story he depicts an individual in New England who decides his own fate. The Devil and Tom Walker is also set in a swamp, unlike the Masque of the Red Death which is set in Paris. The city in Poe’s story is detrimentally attacked by a disease called the “red death.” This attacks all the people of the city rather than one individual, unlike Washington Irving’s
Upon going to see Hester in jail, Chillingworth promised he’d seek vengeance on Pearl’s father saying “I shall seek this man…he must needs be mine!” (100). Soon, the villain sought the man he had been seeking, and realized that Dimmesdale must be the child’s father. Though Chillingworth felt quite sure, he wanted to be certain who the sinner was. In suspicion, Chillingworth talked to Dimmesdale saying, “the power of nature call so earnestly for the confession of sin, that these black weeds have sprung up out of a buried heart, to make manifest an unspoken crime..”(152). In this quote, Chillingworth is comparing a black weed growing from a dead sinners heart to the sin he thinks Dimmesdale has committed, and is trying to make him confess.
He describes that upon the tombstone, there appears to be a coat of arms that has inscribed on it, “On a field, sable, the letter A, gules.” Red is used to represent sin or passion. Black can be used to represent darkness and even rebellion. Throughout the story, it mentions Hester’s clothing being the black fabric with the red letter on it. The last line of the novel mentions the letter A on a sable; a sable is a black background. The black and red contrast in general drawing attention and it shows the sin, represented by the red, with the rebellion, represented by the black, which helps to reveal the truth about Hester in the novel.
Both authors use enticing writing styles and literary devices to unfold tales of premeditated murder. Characters Emily Grierson and Montresor are both very similar in their worldviews, yet quite different when regarding their crimes. Exploring concepts such as time, motive and death will illustrate the points of comparison and the reasons behind the need to avenge. The concept of time plays a huge part in Emily and Montresor’s actions and state of mind. The settings used in both stories define this concept very well.
Traditions, Logical or Illogical Writers often use symbols to help convey underlying themes and ideas. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery is a perfect example of a story that can be so loosely interpreted or misunderstood without understanding the stories symbols and underlying themes. At a glance “The Lottery” is just a story about an unusual and morbid village whose people share the love for murder. By analyzing the short story’s symbols, the story becomes much more than a morbid village full of pointless hate. The lottery itself, the black box, family, and the lottery rules are all symbols that build the underlying theme of the story, tradition.
Poe’s usage of literary devices and choice of words are what use to maintain the creepy feeling. The trepidation which characterizes the mood in Fall House of Usher is found through foreshadowing, allegory, and unity of both tone and diction. Poe uses foreshadowing to entice the readers and to hint at future events that may occur
49). Macbeth knows the ethics behind the murder of the King, and he knows that not only is his conscience going to suffer, but should he get caught he would lose everything. His family’s honor, his title as thane, everything he had worked so hard to accomplish gone blank at the instant his hand in the crime would be revealed. “Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires” (I. iv. 57-58).