Satire In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

1333 Words6 Pages
During the seventeenth century, various political and social issue pamphlets were distributed throughout various countries such as Ireland to promote the ideas of various intellectuals on the issues occurring during that time period. However, many discarded them and did not pay attention to them, leaving many individuals helpless and ignored by their own government. Many individuals attempted to propose solutions to help solve the political and social issues occurring during their lifetime and in doing so, came across to writing and the effective use of satire. The purpose of satire is to shame individual members or society itself into improving its behavior. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is to draw attention…show more content…
“The Lottery” is a classic fictional short story known for its shocking twist ending and its insightful commentary on cultural traditions. The story begins with all the villagers gathering in the town square for the annual lottery, as if it were just another day. The author begins to describe a very formal setting, “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” (Jackson 367). It seems as if the theme of suffering would not be relevant to this story due to it’s peaceful description, however it is not until later throughout the story where the reader begins to sense the satire within this story. The author foreshadows the stoning of the lottery winner, Tessie in the beginning of the story, “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones.” (Jackson 367). The reader is unclear of what the stones imply towards the beginning of the story. One would assume since they are children, they collected stones to play a game of some sort. However, towards the end of the story, the meaning behind those stones are revealed as well as the purpose for the town's annual lottery as the author states, “A stone hit her on the side of the head. Old Man Warner was saying, ‘Come on, come on, everyone.’” (Jackson 373). Jackson satirizes this story by using its symbolism which in this case are stones and the act of stoning. Stoning represents an act of violence between a group of people against a specific individual. Taking history into consideration, the reason for Jackson’s satire which in this case, targets a the group of individuals in this small town, would imply the social issues occurring during Jackson’s time
Open Document