Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'

734 Words3 Pages
n Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery”, the author constructs a story full of symbolism, permitted horror, and a traditionalized ritual that serves as a front for an evil purpose, and ultimately reveals a towns ignorance in blindly following tradition. In small towns like the one in “The Lottery,” it is customary to uphold traditions. It functions as a way to bring together generations of community and family. The town is busy preparing for their tradition called the lottery. Children run around finding stones and placing them in the town square, and everyone is talking about a strange black box and how ratty it has become but will not be replaced because it is a tradition. Jackson pokes holes in the devoutness of tradition by stating that this wasn’t the original box that at some point had become lost and that the town agreed to switch from the traditional woodchips to pieces of paper being drawn. If the town was so set on the traditions for fear of the unknown happening to them then why were these factors allowed to be altered with no consequence? The blind tolerance of the village lottery condones a horrific murder of a citizen each year. The lack of reason for this lottery shows how dangerous it is to act so thoughtlessly. The villager’s fear of the unknown is…show more content…
Jackson uses this type of narration to portray suspense in her story. The objective party does not reveal the thoughts or emotions of the villagers but rather portrays the routine of the lottery as it unfolds. This style of narration pulls the reader into the story by making them think more into the objects and their meanings. Such as what are the stones for, or what is on the slips they draw out of the mysterious black box. If the point of view was told from one of the villagers, the story might have had a less effective impact on the reader. There would have been no suspense factor caused by the reader not knowing the outcome of the
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