Use Of Irony In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Through Shirley Jackson’s utilization of irony, The Lottery portrays how following traditions naively can be destructive towards communities. To begin, Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery elucidates irony to create an emphasis on how holding on to loyalty to traditions at the expense of morals can be dangerous to everyone. This author first implements this when the setting is introduced as “clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day”(363), but ironically the story ends with the death of Tessie Hutchinson. This use of verbal irony emphasizes the normalization of the gruesome rituals practiced and how unaffected the town is. Additionally, in the beginning of the story, children stuff their pockets with stones and begin creating piles …show more content…

The author’s usage of situational irony suggests that traditions are woven into innocent children’s minds as well and how this creates a society that is unable to realize the faults in their rituals. As the story goes on, the town begins setting up for the lottery and Mr. Summers, the leader of the lottery, wants a new box, “but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box” (365), so the town continued to use the debilitated box. At this point, the audience realizes the austerity the town has towards their customs and how the villagers are unyielding towards even the slightest change in tradition. This austerity causes Tessie Hutchinson's disposition to be rebellious in nature. She becomes the only one to arrive late to the lottery which causes Mr. Summers to become worried that “[they] would have to get on without [her]”(367). Subsequently she is the one picked to be stoned. At this point, the audience realizes how Tessie’s choice to follow this tradition is ironic since it resulted in her death. However, Tessie is not the only one naively following this custom. Ironically, the villagers display

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