English 1202 CD
27 October 2015
Literary devices in “The Lottery”
Literary devices are specific language techniques that are used in a text to make it clearer. Shirley Jackson author of “The Lottery”, uses five literary devices. They are symbolism, allegory, foreshadowing, theme and irony.
Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. This literary device is used most often throughout the short story to keep the suspenseful ending a surprise rather than shock. Three main symbols are used in this story, the title “The Lottery”, the black box, and stones. The reader can look at the “The Lottery” title itself to see it exemplifies symbolism. A lottery typically represents a positive and fun event …show more content…
The rocks collected by the children at the beginning of the story represent in small way the larger stones that were thrown at the end of the story. Two other symbols for allegory are the old black box and the slips of paper that are used for the lottery. The box is part of the tradition, but it isn't treated with much respect anymore since it “grew shabbier each year: by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained (page 2). Furthermore, the slips of paper represent each family in the small town. Additionally, they also represent the completely random nature of this …show more content…
Foreshadowing is used right at the beginning of the story. “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones.” (page 1) After reading that sentence the reader most likely assumes the boys were being boys and playing with rocks. Therefore, most readers will miss the significance of the action because they did not understand them at that point in time. An action as minor as picking up stones makes the end of the story a realization rather than a