Literary Techniques Used In 'The Lottery'

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With all of the short stories out there, there are many that some of us would classify as “good.” A good short story obviously cannot be boring to read, but what does the author have to do to make this happen? A short story must start with a hook in the first few lines to captivate the reader and have them wanting more. The story cannot get boring immediately after the hook though; there must be suspense and subtle bits of foreshadowing to keep the reader engaged. Most important of all, a short story needs to be challenging and thought provoking. The story needs to stick in the readers mind and really force them to think after they read it, even if they do not want to. According to those criteria, the three stories “Stones,” “The Lottery” and…show more content…
Along with the title of the story, deceives the reader into thinking they are getting into a “clear and sunny [story] with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day,” (Jackson 119) when the truth about the lottery could not be more different. Because of such a bright beginning and a title that suggests an exciting event, the author creates much more room for suspense and foreshadowing. For example, Jackson would not have been able to show the kids playing with a pile of stones if the reader did not think the story would be a joyful one. The pure irony in it makes the hook in “The Lottery” so much more effective than the ones in “Stones and “That’s What Happened to…show more content…
Although “Stones” and “That’s What Happened to Me” both leave the reader thinking, neither of them strike nearly as deep as “The Lottery.” The fact that young children are sometimes stoned in the lottery or that Davy Hutchinson was prepared to stone his own mother left the readers with a feeling of disturbance on their minds. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this story is the last line: “Then they were upon her” (Jackson 132). This one line makes the reader feel uneasy for a long time even after they put the story down. They will ask questions such as ‘how far will people go in the name of tradition?’ or ‘how did such a gruesome ritual even begin?’ “The Lottery” effectively answers all the questions the reader has as they read the story for the first time, but after they finish reading, they think of so many other questions for them to answer

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