Irony In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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Traditions can lead you to support things you don’t truly believe in if you don’t keep up with the beliefs the tradition represents. They can lose their significance and harm the community that follows them. If a tradition can’t be questioned then the significance has been lost. Shirley Jackson demonstrates the importance of questioning tradition in her story “The Lottery.” In the story, the town gathers on a beautiful day pleasantly chatting with each other. Families stand together whilst Mr. Summers runs the lottery with the black box. Not the original box though as it was lost many years ago along with the traditional wood chips as well as the song and salute for the swearing in of Mr. Summers. Before the lottery starts Old Man Warner goes …show more content…

The lottery was soon to start with the anticipation of all the families in the village. The villagers soon realized they were missing Tessie Hutchinson creating a sense of unease. Once Tessie finally arrives, Mr. Summers says “Thought we were gonna have to go on without you, Tessie. Mrs Hutchinson said, grinning, “Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you, Joe?” (Jackson 141) This verbal irony highlights the contrast and ignorance between the casual tone of the conversation and the horrific events that are about to play out. When the lottery officially began Tessie tells her husband Bill “get up there” (Jackson 141) This situational irony displays her ignorance of the situation. Bill, who had originally been chosen, is now safe, and Tessie is the final choice in the drawing. The twist of fate brings light to the contrast between the villagers blind following to tradition.The irony creates a sense of unease for readers throughout the story, as they are forced to confront the brutal reality of the lottery. Ultimately the villagers blind adherence to the lottery is their downfall. The irony of the story serves to underline the dangers of blindly following tradition without questioning its purpose or

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