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

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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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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