The Lottery Rhetorical Analysis

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In 1948, when the New Yorker published Shirley Jacksons piece, “The Lottery,” it sparked outrage among readers, but could arguably be known as one of her most famous pieces of writing. In this short story, Shirley Jackson used literally elements such as imagery, diction, and symbolism to foreshadow the negative and harsh ending of the story; the harsh ending that sparked such outrage by society in the 1940’s.
One of the main ways Jackson foreshadows the ending and true meaning of her short story, “The Lottery,” is through symbolism. Jackson uses the color black throughout the story. This is described as both the color of the box the people use to draw from for the lottery and the color of the paper that the winner receives on the paper they
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Using both her word choice and the tone in which it set, her use of language foreshadows the true intentions and outcome of the lottery and its devastating ending. When she states, “[The] feeling of liberty sat uneasy on most of them,” she creates an uneasy and negative tone when she uses these certain words ( Jackson 264). It creates the sense that the villagers’ liberty and freedoms were about to be threatened and it truly foreshadows the events that are to come. She also continues her negative tone and word choice towards the event and the black box when she says, “They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed” (Jackson 264). This created an uneasy feeling in the readers mind and led to the foreshadowing that the towns people weren’t so excited to participate in the lottery. She again backs this up by stating, “The villagers kept their distance…” providing insight in that they didn’t want to be close to the box where they draw for the lottery. The people didn’t want to be associated with what the lottery and box represented and seemed to hesitate when it was their turn to draw from the black box. Jackson’s use of diction and the way she set the tone throughout the story clearly led the reader to believe that what the box and the lottery represented was negative and represented
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