Analysis Of Setting In “The Lottery” Essay

Analysis of Setting in “The Lotto” Setting, the time, location, and objects in which the occasions of a literary work happen. This important factor is needed to help the reader acquaint himself with what he is reading. Many authors utilize setting to “develop a reasonable background, transportation us to odd and exotic places, or even to produce a certain mood” (Paschal 4). For example, setting as described in “The Lotto” is a small present day town on a clear and warm summertime day.

Shirley Jackson makes this recognized due to the fact that it sets the state of mind in the start for the paradoxical turnaround at the end. With her intent to shock the reader she utilizes bottom lines the first of such is the time duration that the story happens.

Jackson’s story happens throughout the beginning of summer right around the time that school is let out for summer recess. Second is the place of the lottery. She has the illustration held in the middle of town, the exact same place that they hold all of there family events.

Third would be the actual black box that they put the tallies in, she uses this as a symbol of tradition. Jackson’s brilliant usage of setting ironically shows her intent to impart shock in the minds of her readers.

As we study further into the setting of Jackson’s “The Lottery game” we pertain to the very first bottom line which is the time duration that the story happens. Jackson states that it is June 27th, which can be related to the summer solstice, or the longest day of summer. This day has likewise been understood to have ceremonial overtones. The year is left open to provide the reader the sense that the story is current. The time is set at around 10:00 am and it says that the flowers are progressing which the yard is highly green (Paschal 124).

This is to provide the reader a feeling of calmness as Jackson wants the reader to feel as if this were a perfect town on a perfect day. She sets a timespan for the real lottery to happen. Given that the lotto last around 2 hours it must start at 10:00 so that they can be house in time for midday supper (Paschal 124). This gives the reader the idea that this event is a typical routine which they have actually a set schedule to go by. All of this sets the reader up for the ironic twist at the end of the story. In a sense Jackson utilizes this ideal town as a camouflage to hide her true intent.

The next of Jackson’s key points is the actual location of the lottery game. She sets the lotto in the middle of town in between the bank and the post office (site 1). This part of town is know as the Town Square and is the place where they hold most of there household activities (Paschal 124). Given that the story is embeded in broad daytime you can visualize all the households gathering like one would for a local community picnic. It states that the children are breaking in energetic play and the males are talking about planting and rain, tractors and taxes (site 1). The structures that Jackson uses are symbolic and put across a strong message. The bank is a sign of wealth or money, while on the other hand the post workplace is a symbol of federal government. One could say that the point being made here is that she uses these symbols in connection with the lottery to state that whenever money and the federal government are included there is corruption. At this moment in the story Jackson would have the reader to think that a town that appears to be so normal couldn’t commit such an unimaginable action at the towns’ household meeting place in broad daylight.

The third and last key point used is the black box. Jackson uses this as a symbol of lots of things, one being tradition. The box is described as being worn-out, splintered, faded and even stained (Paschal 125). This sign of tradition clearly demonstrates how this society or culture is afraid of modification. Not only does the black box represent custom it signifies worry. As the box is introduced in the story it changes the state of mind of the people. Jackson specifies that as package is placed on the stool, the villagers kept there distance (Paschal 125). “The box embodies all of the wicked acts performed in the past and the ones to come” (site 2). One would believe that if they were so scared of this box why not make another one and even get rid of the routine entirely. Maybe their worry of change is stronger than their fear of fear itself. To these individuals the black box holds the crucial to life and death. Jackson’s use of the black box as a sign demonstrates shock in that the people of this society would rather hold on to a greater evil instead of loose a lesser one.

As kept in mind above in the analysis of setting in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” we discovered that setting can be an important factor in any story since it sets an environment that the reader can use to discuss specific occasions within a story. For instance, in Steven Cranes “The Bride-to-be concerns Yellow Sky” the setting remains in what is known as the Wild West. Without the reader knowing this they wouldn’t be able to associate with Scratchy wearing cowboy clothing and shooting his guns in the bar. Another example would remain in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in which Shakespeare utilizes medieval Europe as the setting. Without understanding of this you would not be able to discuss why people would kill there own family members just to get power, or to even describe why it was common practice to speak with a witch for guidance. For some that was a typical thing for people of Europe because time period. In essence the suitable usage of setting to show an author’s intent in a story can be an efficient method to have ones reader be able to associate with what he reads.

mWebsite 1- Various English Essays: Paradox of Embeding in “The Lotto” Website 2- Chuck III’s College Resources “” Theses & & Dissertations “” lottery game Dissertations/lottery. shtml Paschal, Hugh H. A Formalistic Technique to Freshan Composition. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2000

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