ScottEnglish Literature10 19 2017The Lottery Reflective EssaySet in an idyllic village in the first half of the 20th century. Shirley Jackson`s iconic short story
The author reveals the profound theme of social criticism through the story, with the excellent writing skills, Shirley Jackson slowly built a comfortable sense until a shattering and tragic point is finally achieved. No one would think someone would die after all those chatting and playing, by writing this story, the author criticized the tyranny of the majority and the ignorance of the villagers. To reveal the essence of the story, the author used a lot of literary techniques such as foreshadowing, symbolism and irony. It can be said with certainty that Shirley Jackson used a lot of foreshadowing in the story.
“thought we were going to have to get on without you, Tessie”. From this sentence, we see Jackson`s masterful, ironic foreshadowing technique, superficially, it seemed like a normal conversation between Mr. Summers and Tessie, talking about why she was late. But this sentence implicitly pointed out that the lottery was incomplete without Tessie, which, in other word, meant that Tessie was the victim. The same is true of two other examples.
At the beginning of the story, Shirley Jackson wrote that: “their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed”. From this sentence, we can infer from their smile that they seemed a little tense, which was because people were thinking of something not very good. Also, at the beginning of the story, where all the children were packing stones. According to most people`s first impressions, those children were just playing, but actually the stones were used to hit the children.
From these examples, we see Shirley Jackson`s outstanding writing skills.It goes without saying that the names of the characters that Jackson employs in her story are highly symbolic. For example, the person who took charge of the lottery named Mr. Summers. This name, under this circumstance, means that the lottery was held every summer, and the s means that time flies. Here are two more examples. Mr.
Graves, also got a very symbolic name. Graves means tomb, which is the place to put death people. Shirley Jackson used grave here is to refer to death. Which is just the end of the story. Also, one of the children`s name is Delacroix, which represents Christianity.
Since the villagers always make mistakes on his name, we can see that despite their Christianity, the villagers are capable of horrific behaviors. From the discussion, in my opinion, we have the reason to believe that Shirley Jackson has a masterful symbolism skills. There is no denying the fact that
However, as the story continues, we became confused. The story evolves in a way totally different from our initial understanding. It`s not about money but death. The second example involves is about weather. At the very beginning of the story, there is the sentence: “the morning of June 27th was clear and sunny”. There is no doubt that it is a very agreeable weather.
However, what you do not expect is that the villagers execute one of their neighbors on this great day. The last one is Mrs. Hutchinson, Tessie. In the story, the author said that Mrs. Hutchinson came hurriedly along the path to the square, her sweater thrown over her shoulders.
The word “hurriedly” described the excitement of her coming to the lottery. But, at last, no one would expect that the one who was executed, was going to be her. By looking at these examples, we see Shirley Jackson`s masterful and skillful irony.