How Does Shirley Jackson Use Irony In The Lottery

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Author Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco, California in December of 1916. She was raised in a town near San Francisco called Burlingame. Later in life she attended two colleges: University of Rochester and Syracuse University. Jackson moved to New York, shortly after graduating in 1940, and that’s where she started writing professionally. Her first novel was, The Road Through The Wall; which was published in 1948. Shortly afterwards The New Yorker published her short story The Lottery. Irony is when an author or writer uses a language that usually means the opposite of what is implied. In The Lottery, the author uses irony to provide readers with a twisted tale that shocks readers in the end. In The Lottery, the townspeople would gather in the town square every year in June around mid-morning. It would always be the children who gathered first. “The children assembled first, of …show more content…

We come to find that the lottery is not just some game, but in all reality, the “winner” will be stoned to death by the rest of the townspeople. Being that there are serious consequences of the lottery, the townspeople go with the flow because they do not want to be stoned also. At the end of the story the readers realize that the townspeople have not gathered for a game and the name was not drawn for a special prize or rewards. Tessie, the “winner”, shows up late to the lottery, claiming she forgot what day it was. What is even more surprisingly ironic about Tessie Hutchinson being the “winner” is that her and her husband have always protested the lottery. Though this time she was protesting stating, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” “There’s Don and Eva. Make them take their chance!”. (Jackson 2) This shows that she is willing to give up members of her own family if it means saving her

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