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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay

The two most significant elements seen in Shirley Jackson’s work The Lottery is the element of surprise and the setting of local color. The story talks about how a small town is about to have its annual “lottery”. This lottery has been the tradition of the folks’ forefathers. The story seemed like a celebration of a tradition that has always been done during summer. Throughout the story, the purpose of the lottery was not revealed until the very end where the main purpose was murder (SparkNotes Editors).

The story revolves around the tradition that had been passed on from different generations which shows the setting of local color. The story talks about how the town’s tradition of lottery was still ongoing. The people did not want to change their tradition, but it is strange that no matter how they did not want to change tradition, there had been changes as seen in the lines: “Because so much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded, Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations.

” The Lottery indeed has the element of surprise because of how people’s understanding of a gathering or a lottery is perceived. The purpose of the tradition of the lottery is not understood until the end of the story as seen in the lines: “A stone hit her on the side of the head. ” which shows that the tradition of the town’s lottery is actually murder (SparkNotes Editors). It would really be a surprise for readers that the prize that one would get out of the “lottery” was actually death.

The element of surprise and the setting of local color are important elements that play a big role in shaping the story. Setting of local color shows how the town was reluctant in giving up the tradition even if there had already been changes (“123HelpMe. com”). Most importantly, the surprise the readers get at the end of the story revealed what the lottery was. Works Cited “The Lottery. ” 123HelpMe. com. 26 May 2010. Web. <http://www. 123HelpMe. com/view. asp? id=91279>. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Lottery. ” SparkNotes. com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 26 May 2010.


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