The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is about a unknown town that comes together every year for their annual lottery event. Unlike the town of Anaheim Hills, this town’s idea of a lottery consist on throwing stones at the person who is drawn from the basket. The author focuses on foreshadowing to dramatize the resolution of the story in order to express the importance of following a traditions origin without knowing the purpose behind it.
In the lottery, the townspeople follow the tradition of having a lottery without understanding the meaning behind having it. Shirley Jackson uses the element of plot foreshadowing, to briefly hint at what is yet to come for the sake of tradition. The author claims ” Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones…selecting the smoothest and roundest stones”.( pg. 140) When we read the story for the first time, the gathering of the stones gets overlooked because of all the other positive details in the story. This example of foreshadowing hints at the reader what is yet to come by showing the true purpose behind gathering the stones in the beginning of story so the villagers can get ready to throw them at the person who wins the lottery. Adding this example of foreshadowing can overall focus on describing the idea that traditional values can be expressed without knowing background knowledge on why the lottery takes place, since it has been going on for years. The author expresses” There has always been a lottery.”(pg. 143) This shows that the villagers’ blind acceptance of the lottery has allowed ritual murder to become part of their town. This also demonstrates how the townspeople feel powerless to change or even try to change anything, since they don’t feel what they are doing is wrong, in throwing stones at a fellow civilian. The idea of always having a lottery for the sake of tradition and preparing to pick out the stones used for the lottery, makes the act of stoning townspeople seem like a normal everyday activity and not a murderous event that can hurt other people.
In addition to foreshadowing in the beginning in the story by showing the boys preparing to throw the rocks,