Foreshadowing In The Lottery

Which part of the story "The Lottery" foreshadows the essential nature of the lottery?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,549 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Part of the success of this story and the shock of its ending lies in how subtly Jackson weaves in her foreshadowing that this is not simply a benign lottery. The boys gathering piles of rocks are ominous, as is the following reaction, which occurs as Mr. Summers places the black lottery box on the stool:

The villagers kept their distance, leaving a space between themselves and the stool.

This detail is subtle, but in a short story, every word counts, and we might wonder why the villagers want to keep away from the stool.

After that, Mr Summers, asks, "Some of you fellows want to give me a hand?" We learn that

there was a hesitation before two men, Mr. Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, came forward to hold the box steady on the stool while Mr. Summers stirred up the papers inside it.

Again, this is a subtle detail, a mere "hesitation" before people volunteer to help with a task that involves touching the box. It is easy to miss, but the dread the villagers have about being near the box...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 749 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Kelvin Brakus eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,259 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial