Exploring Evil

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bbucher
Words 1420
Pages 6
Exploring Evil in "The Lottery"

The Lottery, a short story written by Shirley Jackson, is a tale of disturbing evilness. The setting is a small village on a clear summer day. The village consists of about 300 residents. On June 27th of every year, the members of the community hold a village-wide lottery in which everyone is expected to participate. At first, the reader might think that this is a great idea, not knowing what the “prize” at the conclusion of this lottery is. But as the story progressed, the reader begins to get an odd feeling about the residents. Although they are gathering for a lottery drawing, there is an air of nervousness about the event. From start to finish, there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible is about to happen. This is due to the use of foreshadowing the author uses in the story.

In the beginning of the story, Jackson describes the lottery event as an expected tradition that occurs every year on the assigned date. After reading only the opening paragraph, the reader can gather that it is not a "normal" lottery taking place. “In some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 26th, but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took less than two hours…” This sentence alone should grab the reader’s attention because of the way it is worded. It is not directly saying that something dangerous or evil is going to occur but only hints that this is not the typical, run-of-the mill lottery. If it were a typical lottery, then the joy of winning such a great prize would be celebrated for more than the two hours these villagers were expecting.

The actual suspicion begins in the second paragraph of the story. After Jackson describes the summer morning, she alludes to the children gathering in the Village Square, but they are acting…...

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