An analysis of shirley jacksons story the lottery

Many of her readers have found this story shocking and disturbing.

An analysis of shirley jacksons story the lottery

Check new design of our homepage! Much to the surprise of the readers, what starts in a setting of a typical day of gathering in a small town, turns out to be something horrifying.

Penlighten Staff Last Updated: Feb 10, Did You Know The story received a lot of negative responses due to its ghastly ending, with many readers sending negative mails to Jackson and The New Yorker, demanding an explanation about what the story actually meant.

The story was banned in the Union of South Africa. The Lottery is a short story by Shirley Jackson, that starts with an ordinary background, but ends horrifically. This story is also one of the classic horror stories that gave wide recognition to the author.

An analysis of shirley jacksons story the lottery

Set in against the background of the aftermath of World War II, this story explores the practices that are carried forward blindly without an afterthought of their repercussions.

It also depicts how the society harms innocent victims in the name of tradition in the most ruthless manner. The story has been adapted into a movie and a television series as well.


It has been narrated through a third-person point of view. The narrator does not divulge into unnecessary details, and keeps the veil intact until the end of the story. Also, the third-person perspective makes the narrator oblivious of the emotions of the villagers.

It is narrated in a bland manner, and described as a routine incident, making it more spine-chilling for the reader. It also lays down the fact that the villagers are accustomed to this practice since long. Summary of the Story Setting: Set in the backdrop of a simple American village, it is revealed that today is the day of the lottery.

The villagers start gathering slowly, and it sounds like a friendly gathering. The children have already gathered around, and have collected stones. However, the reason behind this is unknown to the readers.

The men and women are engaged in a friendly chit-chat. However, there are mild hints to tell the reader that there are signs of anxiety and tension. Women dressed in faded colors indicate that, though this is a gathering, there is no festival or celebration expected.

Everyone gathers around along with their families and their children. An air of tension is revealed to the readers. However, the reason behind it is still unknown. Summers has been entrusted the job of carrying out the lottery.

He arrives with his black box that contains the chits. Tessie Hutchinson arrives late, and excuses herself for not recollecting today to be the day of the lottery. Summers reiterates the instructions, which is known to everyone: It turns out that Bill Hutchinson Tessie's husband has drawn the chit with the black mark.

Meanwhile, Tessie starts her protests stating that the draw was unfair, and it should be done again. Everyone, including her husband, shuns her protests, and in the next draw his family is asked to draw a chit. When it is Tessie who has drawn the chit with the black mark, everyone turns around her, much to the reader's surprise.

What follows is an ugly human practice, and the village folks start pelting stones at her.

A Literary Analysis of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson

Literary Analysis While building suspense, what starts out as an ordinary day, turns out to be something really dramatic. June 27 is a bright, cheerful, and a clear day. The children are collecting stones, they are in a particularly good mood, men and women have their daily chores, and share jokes.

The irony is that, the 'lottery' winner is not given some monetary compensation, but is a ritual of human sacrifice. The readers are not aware of the sudden twist that is in store for them, and hence, many of them find the story a bit difficult to gulp down.

As the story progresses, and Tessie retorts, the readers grow suspicious and sense something fishy. Though the author has given little hints to tell that this is not what it appears to be, the readers will certainly be taken aback when they read the abrupt twist in the tale.

The Black Box represents 'death'. It contains the fate of all the villagers, and the unfortunate one who gets the ticket with the black spot is the 'winner' of the lottery. Though the box is worn out, revealing the wood, none of the villagers want to break the tradition, though Mr.Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is an excellent example of an allegorical short story.

In this story, the reader learns of a town's "lottery" that takes place once a . The title of the “The Lottery" alone is a great example of how Shirley Jackson topples reader expectations; we usually hear the word “lottery" and are filled with a sense of hope and possibility; we are expecting it is going to be a story about someone who wins something.

Little do we know what a grim prize it will be, of course. Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery: Summary Shirley Jackson’s insights and observations about man and society are reflected in her famous short story “The Lottery”.

Many of her readers have found this story shocking and disturbing. The Lottery is a short story by Shirley Jackson, that starts with an ordinary background, but ends horrifically. This story is also one of the classic horror stories that gave wide recognition to the author.

When Shirley Jackson's chilling story "The Lottery" was first published in in the The New Yorker, it generated more letters than any work of fiction the magazine had ever published. Readers were furious, disgusted, occasionally curious, and almost uniformly bewildered.

In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson we have the theme of acceptance, family and tradition. Set in a mall village in New England the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and very early on in the story (the second paragraph) the reader realises that Jackson is using foreshadowing.

An Analysis of Shirley Jackson's Jaw-dropping Story 'The Lottery'