Foreshadowing In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is known as one of the most controversial short stories ever written. It depicts a small fictional town, and weaves details of small-town life into the annual tradition of “the lottery”. The lottery is a barbaric ritual in which a villager is selected at random to be stoned to death by the other villagers. A controversial story that attacks human nature in this way would make a good film, right? Although many people have tried, it wouldn’t. In films, especially short films, it’s tough to use foreshadowing without revealing the plot. Obvious foreshadowing makes a story predictable, and predictable stories are never fun to watch. The Lottery is the exact opposite of predictable. The town seems completely normal until the very end, when Jackson throws the horrifying truth of the lottery in your face. At the beginning of the text, the setting tricks you into thinking that this town …show more content…

The film’s dialogue and characters are very close to that of the text, and the symbolism in the character’s names seems to still be there. For example, Old Man Warner. In both the text and the video, he “warns” the villagers about what would happen if they got rid of the lottery. The irony in some other characters is there too. Summer is thought of as bright and happy, but Mr. Summers, the lottery organizer, only brings death and negativity. Not only were the character names and concepts kept, the dialogue is almost identical in the film as it is the short story. “Mrs. Hutchinson said grinning, ‘Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you, Joe?’” (pg 3) This, and many other lines from the story, are said in the video. This is crucial to the plot because without it, the entire story is out the window. The filmmaker made their actors and characters top notch, but the script wasn’t focused on enough. As a result, the symbolism and foreshadowing are lost. At least the concepts, dialogue, and characters stay the

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