In the story "The Lottery" Tessie and her husband have a discussion before and after each selection. What is so ironic about this?In the story "The Lottery" Tessie and her husband have a...

In the story "The Lottery" Tessie and her husband have a discussion before and after each selection. What is so ironic about this?

In the story "The Lottery" Tessie and her husband have a discussion before and after each selection. What is so ironic about this?

 

I'm writing an essay about this story and I have a few ironic things but I need another input/point of view.

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I hope I do not provide you with ideas that you already have! Irony is a juxtaposition of ideas that are inconsistent or contradictory.  The discussion between Tessie and her husband suggests a good marital relationship, a closeness between the two of them. What happens at the end of the story is, of course, a complete contradiction of a good marital relationship, isn't it?  The other thought that comes to mind is that the discussion is so mundane and appears to have no more importance than a discussion about the price of wheat or corn.  But at the end, the reader understands that this trivial discussion is really about life and death.  That is certainly an ironic juxtaposition. 

Good luck to you. 

parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the  Hutchinson family name is drawn, Tessie insists that some other family members' names be added to the list. One thinks she is being generous in this afterthought since it decreases her own chance of winning if other names are added. But then she protests that the drawing wasn't fair, which makes one wonder at the meaning of it all. The reader doesn't understand until later on the true nature of the lottery and what exactly the "prize" of the person who gets the final draw is, but the doubt of it being something good is cast.

The "winner" is Tessie herself, who is promptly stones to death, a yearly ritual of the community which might someday be "lost."