In the short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, setting plays an important key role. It creates irony because the ending of the story completely contradicts the upbeat impression that the reader gets all throughout it. Jackson creates this irony very well in her writing. She keeps it going throughout the whole story. Jackson could have easily made the setting a cloudy, rainy, winter day. Weather would have aided the reader to predict the tragic end. The readers might feel that this would be a more suitable time for the setting of the story because winter is a time of death. Jackson however creates this irony intentionally to create more shock and surprise in the reader at the end. .
The narrator starts off the story describing the setting. She states that 'the morning of June 27 was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.' The reader immediately feels an upbeat tone for the story. The fact that it is spring and the descriptions of flowers and grass make the reader think that it is a new start on life. Readers associate spring not with death, but with new life and growth. In the end of the story the reader then realizes this is not the case. .
The square also plays a part in the setting. Jackson writes how the day of the lottery "the people of the village began to gather in the square- The square is usually a place for town gatherings and other joyous occasions. The reader gets a sense of solidarity since the entire town shows up for this event. Jackson also wrote, "The women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their men folk. They greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husbands- The whole town comes to participate in the lottery. Everyone seems to be socializing normally on this special day. No one is giving the impression that there will soon be an innocent victim murdered.