Literary period

Written in 1948, “The Lottery” best fits the literary movement we call Realism, which developed in the mid-19th and early 20th century. Although the society created by Shirley Jackson is fictional, and the situation she presents does not happen in modern societies, the story explores the themes of tradition and violence in a way that can be interpreted as a critique towards following social norms and traditions blindly. Realist authors often tried to reflect social conditions in their writing.

In terms of realist narrative techniques, “The Lottery” uses irony and focuses on a detailed and straightforward description of the lottery’s history and process. The abundance of detail, in turn, reflects the deeper meanings of the story. The writer also does not draw any conclusion and leaves readers to interpret the story and reflect on its meaning.

Historical perspective

Published just a few years after the Second World War,...

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