How does the setting of "The Lottery" create mood?

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The setting of Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" takes place in a small New England farming village in a relatively isolated region on June 27th. The small, innocuous village is initially depicted as a pleasant place, where the community members are familiar with each other and gather on a beautiful summer day to participate in the lottery. The grass is green, flowers are blossoming, and the citizens seem enthusiastic about the annual lottery. The pleasant, tranquil setting gives the reader a sense of comfort, which deceives the reader and highlights Shirley Jackson's juxtaposition involving the violent, senseless ritual that is about to take place. Shortly after the lottery commences, the peaceful setting seems menacing and ominous. As the lottery gets underway, the mood of the story also becomes anxious and unsettling. When Tessie Hutchinson's name is called, the mood shifts to dreadful and violent as the community members prepare to stone her to death. The pleasant, nonthreatening setting underscores the disparity between the community's outward appearance and their violent nature.

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The setting of "The Lottery" is a small American farm town.  Seemingly innocuous, the imagery of this simple town with its blossoming flowers and rich green grass lulls the reader into a comfortable, trusting mood by making the reader believe that the setting feels safe. 

Jackson uses the easy-going mood set at the beginning of the story as a juxtaposition to the dark undercurrents of the town's violent lottery system.  The author's use of setting, especially one so warm and friendly feeling, helps to develop a theme of appearance versus reality in "The Lottery."  The small farming community may have the look of goodness and simplicity, but their reliance on the dark and threatening lottery system belies this carefully constructed facade.

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