The Role of Setting in The Lottery Ticket Essay
The Role of Setting in The Lottery Ticket
The various types of setting used in “The Lottery Ticket” contributed to a greater fluency of the story’s plot, a push in the character’s action, and more importantly revealing the theme of the story. First of all, the time of day set in the story provided the two characters, Ivan and Masha, a more suitable chance to fantasize. Readers can find out in the introduction that the entire event occurred “after supper” (P198), the time of day at which people generally get more relaxed, satisfied and comfortable since they just filled their stomach. Therefore, it is more possible, than any other time of the day, for them to fantasize, without realizing the unreality.
Another type of setting that affected the character’s psychology and pushed the characters’ actions is the cultural condition, of which in this story is when people get rich, they automatically suspect people around them, including their closest person, as if they all come for the money. Ivan Dimitritch, the protagonist, was affected by this setting that he resented his wife’s relations and claimed them as the “wretched [and] detestable people”, whereas his own relations were compared to the “reptiles” (201). The huge change in Ivan Dimitritch’s psychology, from being “well satisfied with his lot” (P198) to being resentful and envious of his wife, demonstrates how an unrealistic dream of money can destroy one’s attitude toward everything one owns at the moment.
The contrast in the setting plays a more direct role in presenting the theme of the story. All the excitement and resentment “disappeared all at once” (P202) as part of Ivan’s fancy dream, when he finally found out the number is not match. The ending of the story does not only lead to a change in his psychology, but also a contrast in the room of the house. The house Ivan used to be satisfied with seemed “dark and small and low-pitched…” (P202) immediately after Ivan’s fantasy collapsed. The house is generally the symbolism of security and warmth that the majority of people are attached to. By using this contrast of the house, the author might want to illustrate how the hope he was given by the lottery ticket, of living a better life, stirred his values and satisfaction. The theme of the story is conveyed that when people are given hope of unrealistic dreams, they are very likely to lose their current happiness and contentment.