The Lottery Setting Analysis

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In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, the author cleverly sets up readers for a shocking conclusion to the story from the very start. An effective exposition includes setting, character/characterization, and conflict. In The Lottery, Shirley Jackson primarily uses setting while supporting it with conflict and some characterisation to manipulate the reader’s initial idea of the story. The village where the story takes place is painted as a picture of happiness and warmth, a sharp contrast with what the story is actually about. We see this in phrases such as: “the grass was richly green”; “the flowers were blossoming profusely”. Jackson opens the story on a “warm summer day”, describing the village and its inhabitants as being cheerful, even carefree.…show more content…
Shirley Jackson relies heavily on the reader making assumptions based on the setting that is introduced to manipulate them. She uses conflict to draw the reader 's attention, for example the crowds hesitation to help Mr. Summers, hinting at the unease and discomfort the villagers feel towards the lottery. In my opinion, the setting is quite tedious in itself and without the conflict, it wouldn’t have an effect on the reader that causes them to want to keep reading. In manipulating the reader with setting, the author also leads them into thinking that the story will be less interesting than it actually is. I believe that the combination of the setting with the conflict is what really draws the reader into the story and keeps them reading up until the last line of the story. Even though there is not much of a focus towards characters and characterization, this is not entirely necessary in increasing the effectiveness of the exposition in this particular story as the focus is more on the community as a whole and it’s way of dealing with certain problems in their societiy. I think another reason that Shirley Jackson didn’t go into the characters themselves is to increase the versitality of the whole setting. Part of the horror of this story is the idea that it can take place anywhere in any small town around the world, as the setting is quite prosaic and can be applied to most small agricultural areas. This makes this whole story less of a critique of one place, and rather a critique of our world as a
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