How does the author use imagery in "The Lottery"?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Imagery refers to language meant to convey sensory experience. It can be visual (sight), auditory (sound), olfactory (smell), tactile (touch), or gustatory (taste). Shirley Jackson uses imagery to convey mood in this short story.

Initially, she uses visual and tactile imagery to set the scene and provide readers with a sense of the setting's beauty:

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.

We can imagine what the setting looks like as well as how it feels, and perhaps even how it smells, as a result of the description of the profusely blooming flowers all around. This imagery, however, also helps to lull readers into a calm, hopeful mood; this early, pleasant mood will slowly change over to a mood of dread, menace, and horror as we learn more about what the villagers are gathered together to do.

Later, we learn about the box used to conduct the lottery. The narrator says,

Mr....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1000 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team