Elements of Fiction in The Lottery

Elements of Fiction in the Lottery

“The Lottery”, a short story by Shirley Jackson uses a variety of fictional elements to explain how in particular setups people are forced by the societal commands to be whom they could not have been by their own volition. Jackson talks of a certain village where each member participated in a barbaric tradition but believed it was fine since they were conforming to the societal customs blindly. The villagers participated in the Lottery every year to choose a person to be stoned because they wanted to stay in line with village traditions. In narrating the ruthless tradition, Jackson has employed several fictional elements including conflict, climax, foreshadowing, and irony, the theme of tradition, symbolic aspects, and theme of scapegoat. In the same light; this essay undertakes the critical analysis of the major fictional elements used in the story.The Lottery has used the acts of symbolism in several instances. The Lottery itself has been used symbolically to represent the unquestionable tradition. The shabby black box, the black dot, and the three-legged stool, the stones and the stoning all have been used symbolically. The shabby black box presents the ideal lottery tradition while the black dot denotes the villagers’ identification of a victim to be stoned (Hicks, 2014). The shabby black box and the black dot elements are important for the villagers since it is a tradition that must be observed despite breaking them apart. The shabby black box has been fading over years, but villagers have to renovate and paint the box to maintain its original color (Jackson, 1991). The villagers’ acts of continuing to take care of the shabby black box may portray their ignorance of continuing to hold and preserve a tradition that is causing their predicaments. The three-legged stool may portray the society which has continued to associate itself with the evil customs, which have been presented by the shabby black box.

The stoning act and the stones are fictional elements, which have been used symbolically. Stones have been used to symbolize victory on inhumane acts done to others. Stones show that the victory of the village is tied to cruelty on humanity. The stoning has been used present violence inheritance. They have been used to replace the forgotten black dot, which was used to remind people of the importance of the ritual (Jackson, 1991). Stoning portrays ruthlessness and inborn barbarism. For example, in the gathering, Tessie Hutchinson and Mrs. Delacroix appear to have developed a friendship relationship. Surprisingly, when Tessie wins the lottery, Mrs. Delacroix reaches for the heaviest stone. Again, Mrs. Delacroix calls Mrs. Dunbar to hurry up so that they can be among the first persons to stone Tessie (Jackson, 1991). Mrs. Delacroix acts showcases the barbaric tradition that has blindfolded the villagers to persecute others ruthlessly (Oehlschlaegar, 2014). During Tessie’s stoning, it is amazing that children including Tessie son are being provided with stones to participate in the ritual. Tessie pleads with villagers by shouting that it is unfair, but her call fell in the deaf ears and all threw stones on her.

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