Shirley Jackson's diction, or word choice, in "The Lottery" is simple, direct, and informal and creates a matter-of-fact tone that is at odds with the horror that is the lottery's outcome. This juxtaposition adds to the tension of the story's action.
Due to the length of the second sentence of the story and its simple diction, the tone that Jackson achieves is that of a down-to-earth storyteller:
"The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o'clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 20th, but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o'clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner."
The diction that Jackson uses also places the narrator in the town as though he or she is a resident and, as such, provides an insider's...
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