Situational Irony In The Lottery

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What is the best tool to show contrast between how things appear and how they are in reality? Irony helps to reveal a reality that is different from what appears to be true. “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy is a narrative poem taking place over the course of a young girl’s life. “Ballad of Birmingham” is a poem written by Dudley Randall and occurs during the Civil Rights movement. “The Lottery” is a short story that takes place in a New England town written by Shirley Jackson. “The Necklace: written by Guy de Maupassant is a short story that occurs in the late 1800s in Paris. Verbal irony is when someone says something but means the opposite. Situational irony is when the outcome of a situation is the opposite from what was expected. Dramatic …show more content…

The short story begins with a small town’s tradition of gathering for the drawing of names from a lottery. Family names from the village are pulled from the box and the head of the family draws a slip of paper. Bill Hutchinson unknowingly draws the chosen paper but his wife Tessie protests, “‘I tell you it wasn’t fair. You didn’t give him enough time to choose. Everybody saw that’” (Jackson 5). After her protest Mrs. Delacroix tells her to, “‘Be a good sport, Tessie” (Jackson 5). Everyone in the Hutchison family then has to pick from a smaller group of papers. Bill and the Hutchison children all draw blank papers but then, “Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it” (Jackson 7). All the villagers clear from where Tessie was standing and begin to throw rocks at her. In her last moments, Tessie screams, “‘It wasn’t fair, it isn’t right’” (Jackson 7). Situational irony is utilized in this story to surprise the reader with the outcome of the lottery. The whole idea of a lottery is to win a prize, but in reality, the winner is stoned to death. Tessie is unaware that her prize for winning would be death. She was the only one who protested the lottery and the only one that was subsequently stoned to death. Verbal irony is used to show that the villagers did not take the lottery seriously unless they were the family that was chosen. Mrs. Delacroix’s sarcastic comment illustrates that if the villagers were not chosen, they had no opposition to the lottery. The townspeople used sarcasm to lighten the mood when in reality they were about to stone Tessie to death. Situational irony teaches that some decisions lead to detrimental

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