Similarities Between Charles And The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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“ ‘Charles’ vs. ‘The Lottery’ ”

Shirley Jackson was and currently still is known for her stories in the horror genre. She published both novels and short stories in her extensive and dedicated career. Furthermore, some of her short stories leaned to a more specific psychological horror. Two of her books of this type, “The Lottery” and “Charles”, share an array of differences and similarities including foreshadowing, ironic twist, and tone.

First off, one important similarity between the two stories is their use of foreshadowing. Both stories use the writing technique to hint at an unknown fact in the story. In the case of “Charles”, the author hints that Laurie is Charles with some of Laurie's behavior towards Charles. Laurie paused briefly before talking to Charles and as the passage says, “Laurie thought. ‘It was Charles,’ he said.”. Laurie also “spoke insolently to his father” and expressed happiness at Charles’s cruel actions, demonstrated when Laurie “whispered joyfully” to his father the bad word that Charles had said. All of these actions contribute to the falling action of the story after which Laurie’s mother finds that Laurie is Charles. Next, in “The Lottery”, the feeling in the story escalates into worry progressively. In the start of the story, the mood is fairly happy, as shown in this quote from the passage about
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To demonstrate, one can view the tone of “Charles”, mostly determined by Laurie’s mom’s concerns for Charles’s influence on Laurie and her yearning to meet Laurie’s mom, herself. Laurie’s churlish behavior also creates somewhat of a more rude push, creating an overall slightly negative ironic tone. On the other hand, the tone of “The Lottery” differs semi-totally. Mostly supported by the villagers’ dialogue and behaviors throughout the story, like “their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed”, the tone here begins casual, merging towards grave at the
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