In the second paragraph of "The Lottery," the children were gathering stones, seemingly just for fun. The end of the reading demonstrates why they were actually gathering stones. What literacy...

In the second paragraph of "The Lottery," the children were gathering stones, seemingly just for fun. The end of the reading demonstrates why they were actually gathering stones. What literacy device does this exemplify?

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Kathryn Draney | Student, College Senior | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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The device used in this instance is foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is where the author gives us a small hint of what is to come, without entirely giving away the outcome of the situation. In "The Lottery," the children initially are gathering the stones in apparent innocence as they enjoy the beautiful weather and the end of their school day. As the story progresses and the lottery ensues, the reader becomes aware that the stones serve a much more nefarious purpose. The children were actually gathering stones in order to stone an innocent citizen to death. 

By including the reference to the stones in the beginning of the story, the author creates an atmosphere of curiosity and innocence, as the reader wonders what the stones are for and likely believes they are for some childish game. When it becomes apparent that the stones are for murdering a person, the juxtaposition of the two different uses is highlighted.

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