The Lottery Analysis
Written by: Chris Tarry
Shirley Jackson writes an interesting story, The Lottery¬. The reader might assume that it is nothing more than a comical story, but with careful analysis you can see there is much more to it. Jackson writes about prejudice. She realizes how easy it is to prejudge, so she portrays this in a story. Jackson uses a few techniques to help her convey her point; one of them being the tone she writes in and the other is characterization.
All throughout the story the author uses a very positive tone. This can be seen even in the first sentence when the author describes the setting as being, “sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day.” She immediately creates a warm feeling. She continues this as the story goes on with her descriptions of the families. The scenario in its entirety is a very typical “nice day.” The husbands talk about guy things, women talk about women things, and the kids play as kids do. The lottery itself is also described as being a good thing, and even when the deceptive ending is played out, no one but the victim is negative. Jackson writes using this tone with intention. Her whole point is to cause the reader to form an idea about what it going to happen, which she accomplishes through her tone, and then surprise the reader by proving his or her idea wrong.
The way Jackson develops the characters also plays a large part in her task of fooling the reader. The character’s all have common names and the way that they socialize also contributes to this very average small town feel. Possibly the most developed character is Mr. Summers. He is described as a character that often enjoys, and has time to run many social and community building events. It is in this that Jackson insinuates that this event is no different. So as the story plays out, the reader is continually let on that he is fact a very kind and polite man. All of these characteristics contribute to the overlying tone and in the...