Rhetorical Analysis Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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Conformity can make people do cruel things without reason. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” highlights a village that continues a senseless tradition of stoning the winner of a lottery. Although all the villagers initially seemed innocuous and welcoming, as soon as the winning ticket was drawn, everybody quickly turned against the winner, Mrs. Hutchinson. Through a stark, cold tone, Jackson brings attention to the dangers of unquestionable loyalty to old traditions. Jackson starts the story with antiquated characters that contribute to the blunt tone. First of all, the children are making “a great pile of stones in the corner of the square” (260) and adults are just chatting, waiting for the lottery to begin. Following that, even the man in charge of the lottery, Mr. Summers, is underwhelming and is portrayed just as “a round-faced, jovial man” (261). Additionally, Jackson introduces Old Man…show more content…
Hutchinson stands out. She’s one that “clean forgot what day it was” (261). In addition, she’s also the only one who complains about the picking of the lottery to be unfair, demonstrating her nonconformity. Maintaining the same objective tone from the beginning, Jackson describes what happens to the winner of the lottery: everybody throws stones. It brings about an appalling response from the audience as the whole village, including even her little Davy, gets rocked to throw at her. At the climax of the story, Jackson delivers this huge surprise to strengthen the effect of the theme. Similar to Shirley’s tone, the tradition remains largely unchanged, carrying the main idea throughout generations. Juxtaposing the dark news of stoning a person to an objective tone, Jackson undermines the inherent compliance to long-standing traditions in isolated, small villages. While all the “villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box” (267), they continue the senseless act without contemplating its origins or
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