Shirley Jackson published the short story, "The Lottery", on June 28 th 1948. Irony is present throughout the entire story, from the title to the last sentence. Irony is the contrast between what is expected or what appears to be and what actually is. The characters, situation, title, point of view, and the setting of "The Lottery", all make it ironic. From the very beginning of this story, it is obvious that irony will play a big role throughout the story. The title of this story states obvious irony.
The reason that the title is ironic is because the person who wins the lottery is stoned to death. When most people think of the term lottery, they associate it with winning something of value. The first sentence in "The Lottery", leads the readers to believe that it's going to be a beautiful day, but by the end of the story it turns out to be a horrific day. "The morning of June 27 th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." Would anyone think that such a brutal and violent attack on a woman by her fellow townspeople could happen on a day like what was described? The point of view in the story is ironic to the ending of the story. When Shirley Jackson wrote "The Lottery", she used third person dramatic point of view. The third person dramatic point of view let Mrs.
Jackson keep the result of the story a surprise until Brandon Bennett 2 the very end. The result is ironic because the readers have no idea what the characters are thinking. So, the readers believe everything is fine until the end of the story. The situation present in "The Lottery" is completely ironic. The word choice used by Shirley Jackson keeps readers believing that nothing is wrong.
At the beginning of paragraph four, it states, "The lottery was conducted-as were the square dances, the teen-age club, the Halloween program-by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities." This statement is completely ironic because of the fact that this horrific tradition of stoning a person to death is classified among pleasant activities, such as square dances. Another statement filled with irony is, "Soon the women, standing by their husbands, began to call to their children, and the children came reluctantly, having to be called four or five times." The reason this is ironic is because if the children knew what was about to take place then they would want to be in the safety of their parents at all times. Instead, they run around playing and avoiding their parents. Shirley Jackson filled the story, "The Lottery" full of irony.
The characters, situation, point of view, title, and the setting all make this story ironic. A lottery is usually associated with winning money or a prize, but in this story it is not what the characters win, it is what they lose.