What is the tone at the beginning of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The tone at the beginning of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is peaceful and lighthearted. The setting is shown as a clear and sunny day with flowers blooming and people gathering. Words which speak to this peaceful and lighthearted tone are as follows: clear, sunny, fresh, warmth, green, and blossoming. The narrator speaks of eating and the lottery ending with plenty of time to keep lunch plans. 

Ironically, the initial tone of the story fails to match the tone at the end of the story. Shirley Jackson assumedly does this on propose to shock the reader and force the reader to think that the end will be a happy one. Instead, the initial tone helps to act as a mask to what will come. 

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