The Lottery Irony

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In Shirley Jackson's story "The Lottery", irony is an underlying theme used throughout the story. Starting from the title all the way until the last page, Jackson cleverly supports her theme. She takes great care in creating her title, setting, plot and characters to formulate an extremely ironic short story. The way she supports this theme with so many different strategies is quite impressive. Starting from the title Jackson chooses "The Lottery", the irony begins. The title represents something positive that you are rewarded for in the end but as you read you will find the true meaning of this title and what is assumed as a "reward" in this story. The setting of the story is created within the very first words of the story. "Clear and…show more content…
Summers and Mr. Graves (name symbolizes death). Mr. Graves is the postmaster for the town and is the person who swears Mr. Summers in as the lottery official. Which means he is in charge of gathering everyone in the community and most importantly reinforce tradition rules. Ironically Mr. Summers has failed to follow most of the rules that have been passed down to him. For example there was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, Mr. summers was also supposed to walk among the people, but years and years ago this part of the ritual had been allowed to lapse. Mr. Summers name brings an uninviting reality to the lottery because the winner gets stoned. On the other hand, Mr. Summers has a delightful name, which also matches his description as "a round-faced, jovial man". Mr. Summers is the mayor of the town and also runs the most successful business the coal company. When one thinks of summer one generally thinks of pleasantness and happiness. His name is ironic because his job is essentially in contrast to these thoughts. He is in charge of the random stoning. It is also ironic that when old man warner hears that the north village is considering ending the lottery he says “next thing you know they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves.” The lottery is as brutal and inhuman a ritual as any practiced by cavemen. Finally we learn that Mrs. Hutchinson will be the one selected to
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