The Use Of Literary Elements In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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The Lottery The story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a good story because of the use of literary elements that lead up to the understanding and plot of the story. “The Lottery” is about a town that has a lottery every, but the twist to the story is that the winner, who receives a black dot on a piece of paper from the black box, gets stoned to death as their reward. Shirley Jackson uses irony and motifs in the story to help explain a tradition that is old enough that the rituals involved have been partially forgotten. One literary element present in "The Lottery” is irony. The author uses irony when she makes the conductor of the lottery’s name be Mr. Summers. “The lottery was conducted – as were the square dances, the teenage…show more content…
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. “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box they still remembered to use stones.” (pg 220). The children in the story are the ones to gather the stones that would be used to stone the lottery winner, and the adults or people don’t think anything is wrong with making the children participate in this because it is normal to them. Nobody thinks anything is wrong with stoning people because it was engraved in their heads that this was how they did things and they didn’t question

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