The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson, and 'The Story of the Hour' by Kate Chopin, both have similarities and differences when it comes to the elements of literature. Particularly, when the authors use foreshadowing to manipulate the moods of the stories and add irony to cleverly deceive the reader. Both of these stories possess similarities and differences when it comes to their components of the story, specifically the authors' usage of elements of mood and the tone of irony. In Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," irony is a major theme. This story is about a town full of elitist snobs that are stuck on their tradition of a lottery, even though it is a grim ritual and rather detrimental to the people in the town.
The characters are honoring a tradition that is handed down to them from former generations. The reader is led through the outwardly normal and charming little village, and is taken on a ride of ironic horror as they slowly grasp the annual fate of one the village's inhabitants. The title "The Lottery" implies a contest with a winner of some kind, like a sweepstakes. When in reality the winner is actually the loser or person that will die by stoning. At the beginning of this story, the main character, Mrs. Hutchinson, is in favor of the lottery.
The atmosphere of the town is casual yet anxious. Mrs. Hutchinson arrives late because she "clean forgot" what day it is. This seems quite impossible to any reader that anyone would forget a day like lottery day. Her procrastination is reasonable but her excuse is lame. Mrs.
Hutchinson complains that her husband, Bill, "didn't have enough time to choose." And that the results of the drawing were not fair. In these statements, she is implying that the other villagers had more time to choose, and in fact given an advantage over the 02 Hutchinson family. In reality, time had little to do with the drawing of the "slips of paper." As soon as they hold the second drawing, Mrs. Hutchinson is chosen. This is the climax of irony of this story. Mrs.
Hutchinson is chosen for the lottery. She is shocked and astounded, having believed that she couldn't possibly be chosen for the lottery. She begs or mercy, but the townspeople are strict with keeping to their traditions and her pleas of mercy fall on deaf ears and she is stoned to death. "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin is another story that is full of irony.
The first irony in this story is detected in Louise's reaction to the news of her husband's death. She cries in her sister's arms, then accepts her husband's fate and retreats to her bedroom to be alone. While alone in her room, she looks out the window and sees that trees and flowers are budding with spring outside. She realizes that there is a new life for her, just like there is new life for trees and plants after the cold and bitterness of winter. She sits there and begins to think of the new life ahead of her. Throughout her entire marriage, she has felt like a prisoner, and now thoughts of freedom begin to flood her imagination.
This is ironic because a newly widowed woman should be grieving the loss of her dead husband, not fantasizing about the new life she will have as a single and free woman. She says a quick prayer that her life might be long. There is irony here because her prayer is useless. Louise does not live very long at all, in fact, she dies a few moments later. As the story closes, we see Louise come down the stairs with a new and refreshed view on life. Just as she descends the stairs, her husband walks through the door.
She stops and then drops dead. When the doctors come to examine her body, they day that she died "of a heart disease-of the joy that kills." The reader wonders if it was joy of seeing her husband 03 alive that killed her, or if it was shock and horror of seeing him alive. "The Story of an Hour" is similar to "The Lottery" because both stories have surprise endings. In "The Story of an Hour" the reader is not expecting Louise's husband to walk through the door and cause her to die from the shock.
In "The Lottery" we don't expect Mrs. Hutchinson to be chosen as the ill-fated winner of the lottery, especially when she was the most vocal person in favor of the lottery. The names of characters in "The Lottery" give some foreshadowing to its morbid end. Mrs. Hutchinson's friend, Mrs. Delacroix turns on Mrs.
Hutchinson with the rest of the townspeople in the end. Delacroix means "of the cross" and crosses are normally used as gravestones for the dead. Mr. Summers and Mr.
Graves also have symbolic names. Mr. Summers, the owner of a coal business, conducts all the municipal activities, including the lottery. His name is a representation of the lottery itself, which occurs every summer.
Mr. Graves, the town postman, assists Mr. Summers in directing the ceremony of selecting the ill-fated lottery winner. Just as he is an essential part of the drawing, his name symbolizes the element of death that is also an essential part of the lottery process. At the start of this story, someone gives Davey Hutchinson some pebbles, hinting at the grim end that some unfortunate citizen will meet. Little does anyone realize that Davey will use those stones to kill his own mother.
The foreshadowing in "The Story of an Hour" is more obvious at the beginning of the story. In the beginning of the story, Louise's heart condition is mentioned. The reader then knows that something dreadful is lying in wait for Louise. Because of the mention of her weak heart, the reader can guess that she is going to die from some sort of heart 04 trouble and that she is very frail. Louise is unexpectedly relieved at her husbands death, and a paragraph or two later, we fully understand why. Some readers could argue that Chopin tricks us at the end with a surprise ending.
While there is some shock there, I think that the first sentence acts as an brilliant foreshadow of what is in store for Louise. The foreshadowing is obvious and the drama of her life as a married woman and her new life as a single, widowed woman helps us forget the promise of her heart condition. The foreshadowing in "The Story of an Hour" is more obvious than the foreshadowing of "The Lottery." In "The Story of an Hour" the reader knows that something terrible is going to happen to Louise because of the mention of her health. However, in "The Lottery" the reader knows that something bad will eventually happen, but the reader has no idea who the ill-fated winner is going to be. I feel that "The Story of an Hour" is a better example of the elements of irony and foreshadowing than "The Lottery." In "The Story of an Hour" the author uses a writing style that is easy to follow and simple to understand. The plot is orderly and follows a sequential order of events.
The imagery is vivid, but is it easy to understand and doesn't confuse the reader. "The Lottery" was not an adequate story. The foreshadowing was presented in an irksome fashion, and the language confused and baffled me. "The Lottery" was difficult to follow, and I was unable to understand anything about it until I had completed the story. In closing, I feel that Kate Chopin did a superb job with "The Story of an Hour" in reaching her audience on a level that made it simple to understand her story and to have a sense of perceptive knowledge of how the story would end.