Use Of Irony In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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A Lottery is a form of gambling that involves the drawing of lots for a prize. However, in “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, a lottery is not what we all know it to be. Shirley Jackson uses irony as an essential theme throughout the story. The setting, plot and characters, all go hand in hand when uncovering the irony of the story. The setting set forth by Shirley Jackson in the beginning creates a mood of calmness and serenity. “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green” (1214). The setting allows the reader to believe that the town is relaxed and nothing bad could possibly happen. Despite the fact that the setting is introduced…show more content…
He had partaken in seventy-seven lotteries and is a loyal activist for keeping things precisely the way they are. When he hears that the north village is thinking about giving up the lottery, he responds “Packs of crazy fools… Listening to the young folks, nothing’s ever good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live that way for a while. Used to be a saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.’ First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. 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. After reading “The Lottery”, the use of irony is vey clear. Shirley Jackson used irony to give the reader a dramatic reaction to the final events in the story. From the peaceful setting in the beginning of the story, to the malicious murder of the villager in the end, irony played a very significant
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