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The Use Of Tone In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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“The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson is atypical of any other story from its time. Jackson utilizes a shift in tone that is emphasized through the event’s location, attendees, and rituals found within her work to take readers on a wild ride. What begins as an average day on June 27, unfolds into a situation that never could have been expected. Jackson’s use of tone in “The Lottery” functions as a way to distract readers from the overall mood of the gathering. The pleasant and easy-going tone, presented throughout the beginning of Jacksons’s work aims to deter readers from questioning the villager’s initial motives. Once the reader begins to question the lack of explanation surrounding the event, a suspenseful tone beings to grow. Due to the unexpected…show more content…
For instance, Mr. Summers runs most of the village’s civic activities. Initially, it seems appropriate for Mr. Summers to be present as he also conducts the village’s square dances, teenage clubs, and Halloween program. This information leads one to believe that the lottery is a cause for celebration. As the villagers wait for the lottery to proceed, syntax is utilized to convey a sense of normalcy. The village’s men gather and speak about, “planting and rain, tractors and taxes” (367). These topics are all common-place and appropriate for a social gathering of no major importance. Once Mr. Summers arrives, his attitude is easy-going as he arrives tardy to the gathering alongside Mr. Graves. Suspicions do not arise until Mr. Summers asks for help with keeping the lottery’s traditional black box steady. Here, attitudes shift from jocular to reluctant as the men of the village hesitate to…show more content…
Full of plot twists, and turns, “The Lottery” relies on its characters to convey a sense of normalcy throughout a majority of the story. The villagers’ acceptance of rituals allows them to act normal while knowingly partaking in a deadly tradition. Jackson’s brilliant use of deceptiveness leaves readers blind sighted as one could never predict this story’s outcome. Jackson’s work is renowned because of its unpredictable shift in tone. June 27, may appear to be a pleasant summer day, but this prediction could not be further from the truth. “The Lottery” is a portentous work of fiction than transcends its
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