Comparing Irony In Lawrence's The Lottery And The Rocking-Horse

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Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and David Herbert Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner” are two fascinating and powerful short stories. Although both of them are fiction stories, they depict an unfortunate reality of our society. Jackson’s “The Lottery” speaks about a yearly event, which consists in randomly killing a person in the village and Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner” speaks about the relationship between a mother and her son, based on a one-sided form of love. Both short stories show many similarities in terms use of situational irony, foreshadowing and symbolism, and the many themes the stories revolve around. To begin with, it is essential to note the use of irony in both short stories. In fact, upon reading the titles, the stories are expected to be joyful rather than end tragically. The reader does not expect such an ending, in either case. In the case of “the Lottery”, the story begins with “the morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day”; the setting appears to be bright and peaceful. Jackson goes on describing the people in the story; they are gathered in groups of families and they all seem to be caring for each other and concerned about one another. She therefore uses irony in both the setting and the characters of the story, which are both cases…show more content…
Similarly, Lawrence uses situational irony in “The Rocking-Horse Winner”, as the title suggests some sort of a winning situation, whereas the ending shows that even though Paul knew who would win the race, and even though he made all that money and was in some way a winner, it cost him his life. Therefore, at the end of the story he is clearly not a winner. Moreover, I also believe there to be some sort of irony in the fact that although both his uncle and the gardener believed in Paul’s vision and knowledge on who would win the race, none of them would gamble along with
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