Had Jackson chosen sophisticated (such as Poe's Montesor) rather than common people for characters would the story have the same effect? Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"  The Cask of Amontillado.

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Clearly, the shocking effect of the ending of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" would not be produced if the characters were of the sophisticated deviousness of Poe's Montresor from "The Cask of Amontillado."  In Poe's story, Montresor announces his criminal intent and it is only the plan that the reader does not realize until the narrative's end.  However, in Jackson's story, the reader is totally disarmed by the bucolic setting, Old Man Warner who has been around for so many lotteries that must be a harmless activity, Mrs. Delacroix who greets Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson in such a neighborly manner, the children playfully gathering stones.

That the lottery is tradition seems to lend it respectibility and legitimacy.  The words of Old Man Warner--"There's always been a lottery,"  "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon" reinforce this idea; therefore, when readers discovers the horrific implications of this the town's ritual, they are not only shocked, but uncomfortably reminded that the predilection for violence is in all humanity.

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