Literary Elements In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Things that appear to be perfect may sometimes be different from what they seem. This statement is especially true in Shirley Jackson’s dystopian short story “The Lottery”, which recounts the tradition of a village that takes part in an annual lottery. Although lotteries are considered to be entertaining, that is not the case in this lottery, as it entails a morbid ritual. Through the use of effective literary elements, Jackson establishes that blindly following tradition can create an illusion of order; however, the reality can lead to the persecution of vulnerable members of society. PLAN OF DEVELOPMENT …… Symbols are used in everyday life to represent a variety of things, much like how a stop sign requires one to stop, or a crucifix represents Christianity. The use of symbolism in this story is a key component that contributes to its dystopian nature. One of the symbols in this story is the setting. The story takes place on June 27th, the weather is “clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of…show more content…
The box is “no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained” (2). The condition of the box is terrible; it is worn out and deteriorating, which represents the tradition of the lottery: old and outdated. Furthermore, the children are not as innocent as they appear to be. Bobby Martin can be seen “[stuffing] his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon [follow] his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones” (1). The very nature of the children gathering stones seems playful, yet this very act foreshadows the evil that has yet to come. Later in the story, the children are seen using the stones to kill Mrs. Hutchinson, an unjust persecution of a member of their society. This reinforces the idea that a perfect world can very well be all but an
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