Ironies in The Lottery

Yuhan ZHU


Shirley Jackson is a prestigious writer in the twentieth century. Different from other female writers who are romantic and tender, and who tend to convince readers with soft words and mild tones, she writes stories which are often violent and bloody. She is willing to shock readers with impressive and unforgettable scenes, and she likes to use ironic pictures to insinuate her criticisms. The short story, “The Lottery” is a typical example of her use of irony. Previous researches on the story have mainly focused on people in the village who are bound by tradition or on the analysis of South America in the light of cultural study. This paper intends to analyze the story from the angle of the use of irony in the story, through which the author artfully punches on the indifferent people, capitalism, and religion.

Key words: Shirley Jackson; The lottery; Ironies and ironic figures


Shirley Jackson; The lottery; Ironies and ironic figures


Friedman, Lenemaja (1975). Shirley Jackson. Boston: Twayne Publishers.

Hyman, Stanley Edgar (Ed.). (1966). The Magic of Shirley Jackson (pp. viii). New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Retrieved from

Jackson, Shirley (1995). Come Along with Me. London: Penguin Putnam Inc.

Ward, Kyla (1995). Shirley Jackson: House and Guardians. Tabula Rasa, (7). Retrieved from Jackson.html

XIAO, Minghan (Ed.). Selected Readings in American Literature.



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