Foreshadowing the Lottery

Length: 4 Pages 1071 Words

After reading “The Lottery” for the first time, you stop and ask yourself, why didn’t I see this ending coming? You really have to read the piece a second time to even begin to notice all of the small subtleties that Jackson uses as clues that lead to the grim conclusion of the story. A lottery usually brings images of some lucky person receiving a great prize. Lotteries are usually associated with a winner having a moment of extreme happiness. So when we find out at the end of the story that the winner is actually unlucky instead of lucky, it comes as quite a shock. Jackson does give several clues to the outcome of the story though. In the beginning the lottery is described as an annual tradition that takes place on June 27th. The first indication of something being out of the ordinary is when it’s mentioned that the lottery takes place in other towns and some of the larger ones have to start one day earlier. A normal lottery doesn’t take two days to take place. So you kind of get the feeling that something out the ordinary is going to happen. Another hint to this not being a happy occasion is the line that tells the lottery begins at ten o’clock and only last two hours so the villagers can get back t Continue...


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Old Man Warner makes a reference to Joe Summer joking with everyone. After the children gather then the men begin to fill the square, and next the women. As you get deeper into the story the foreshadowing gets a little more distinct. It is obvious that this is something that they do not enjoy but continue to take part in for the sake of tradition only. You are given the feeling that everyone wants to get the event over with. We tend to associate dark colors with sadness or death. "The villagers keep their distance, leaving a space between themselves and the stool. The very first paragraph is a good indication that something out of the ordinary is going to take place. (Yen, Peggy) The black box gives a dark, grim sort of feeling. From this point on the reader is looking for a negative event to take place and it is no longer a secret that the lottery in not a joyous occasion. 866) This is just a flat out indication that the lottery in not an innocent event. Hutchinson is moving through the crowd to take her place with her family but the word farewell, suggest that she is leaving.