Fear In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Shirley Jackson’s, The Lottery, is about a small town in America. In the beginning of the story the characters are beginning to gather around the town square, to prepare for “the lottery”. Young boys gather stones while the girls wait around, talking. You never think twice about the fact that the lottery could be anything but winning money, or something else good. It isn’t until the Hutchinson family “wins” and Mrs. Hutchinson gets upset, that you start to suspect anything. In the end we see there is a lot more going on. Mrs. Hutchinson gets stoned to death as part of a “ritual”. First, Shirley Jackson creates a sense of horror in The Lottery, by making everything seem happy and normal, then abruptly introducing a sense of panic and fear. Of course…show more content…
1 Next, she sets up the story with more sneaky horror with the line, “Used to be saying, ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.’” Pg. 7 Old Man Warner says this as he is describing the lottery back in his day. This introduces a sense of fear because it is the first time we start to suspect that the lottery is something other than just winning money. We start to think that the lottery is more like a sacrifice to the gods for agricultural surplus and richness. The biggest give away and what gives the biggest horror is, throughout the entire story is that everyone seems happy and ready to get back to work. They seem to be so used to it and no one ever questions the authority of the group as a whole. Another big thing that makes this story so eerie and complex is the withheld knowledge that the characters have, but the audience has no clue about. I think that the biggest form of this is the fact that they know what the lottery is, but we never do until the end of the story. This sets up lots of questions and confusion for the reader throughout the entire
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