How do the comonplace details of life and the folksy language contribute to the impact of the story?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The commonplace details and folksy language serve to delude the reader regarding the tone of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery."  So, when the denouement comes, the reader is all the more shocked by the nonchalant violence of the townspeople and the children in the serene setting.

Jackson uses her deceptively detached narrator to make an impact on the reader as well as to suggest that all people possess the tendency to enjoy gratuitous violence.  One  needs only to look back in history for supportive details, but even today crowds attend ultimate fighting championships, etc.  Another motif hidden by the tone of the narrtive is the human desire to have a scapegoat.  The town is so conditioned to this ritual that no one dares question it; when someone in the community mentions that other communities have done away with the lottery, Old man Warner, enraged, decries,

Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them.  Next thing you know, they'l be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work, live that way for a while.  Used to be a saying about "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.

Anyone who questions tradition is perceived as working against the "natural rightness" of things.  Thus, in addition to the inherent penchant for violence is the mindless, conditioned acceptance of a senseless ritual that the folksy tone of the narrative cloaks.