Irony And Symbolism In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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The Lottery
In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” , a small village gathers in the village square for a traditional event that suddenly awakens the reader in the end. The reader is not aware of the nature of the villagers and is mislead by the meaning of the story, eventually giving the reader a clear view of what the nature of humanity is actually like. Jackson surprises the reader in order to convey a truth about human nature. Irony, symbolism and foreshadowing are used to covey the story’s message that humans tend to rationalize their brutal behavior.
Irony is used in the story’s opening to show how casual the villagers are about the ritual of this crucial annual event. The reader is reeled into a sense of harmony and serenity with the descriptions that the story presents. “...the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” Jackson makes the reader feel cozy and homelike with the setting of the story, rather than frightening the reader by creating a cold-blooded setting and giving a small glimpse of what the “Lottery” actually is. The reader feels as if he too could join in on the
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The innocent play seems harmless until the true purpose of the stones becomes explicit at the end of the story. The reader suspects the suspicion taking place when Mr. Summers walks up the black box and a character from the crowd yells out, “Don’t be nervous, Jack.” This shows the solid clue that something deviant is about to go down in the summer of June 27th. Jackson then makes it very clear that something brutal is happening when Tessie yells out,”It isn’t fair, it isn’t right.” This reveals proof of how brutal humanity can be when ‘going with the flow’ and trying to act like others in order to ‘blend in.’ The consequences are ignored when engaging in a crowd event that may seem normal but is actually
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