Shirley Jackson's 'the Lottery' Essay

927 words - 4 pages

Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'

     The setting in a story helps to form the story and it makes the characters become more interesting. There are three main types of setting. The first is nature and the outdoors, second is objects of human manufacture and construction and the third is cultural conditions and assumptions. These three things help the reader to understand the characters better in Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery';.

     'The Lottery'; is started out by being described as 'The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day.'; The flowers are blooming and the children have just gotten out of school for the summer. To the everyday reader this story starts out as a pleasant one but there is much more in store for the reader at the end of the story. Th setting leads the reader to believe that this is your normal kind of town with normal people. But it isn't until the end that the reader finds out that winning the lottery might not be as good as they thought it was.

     The first type of setting that, Nature and the Outdoors plays a major role in 'The Lottery';. The most unusual thing about 'The Lottery'; is that the author never tells the reader exactly where the story is taking place. This means that the reader has to gather clues to try and figure out where this is all happening. The are only a few clues given to help the reader out. One clue is that the men are 'Speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes';. This gives us two answers to a couple of questions. Obviously by talking about planting this tells the reader that this town is possibly located in the Mid-West states. Another question that is answered is what time period this story is taking place. The men talked about tractors so this allows the reader to narrow the time period to 1935 and up. Tractors had not been invented before this time.

     Another mention of the time frame in this story is the clothes that the characters are wearing. 'The women wearing faded house dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their men folk';. This also shows the reader the time frame because it was not until after the 1930's that women started to wear housedresses and sweaters. It actually started to become popular in the forties and fifties to wear housedresses. This gives the reader an almost exact time period, which helps to add to the fear in the story that such a thing could happen 40 or 50 years ago.

     The second type of setting is the Human manufacture and Human Construction. The best...

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