At first, one expects the usual convention of a lottery--that someone will win a desirable prize.
Plot[ edit ] Details of contemporary small-town American life are embroidered upon a description of an annual ritual known as "the lottery". In a small village in New England of about residents, the locals are in an excited yet nervous mood on June Children gather stones as the adult townsfolk assemble for their annual event, which in the local tradition is practiced to ensure a good harvest Old Man Warner quotes an old proverb: The lottery preparations start the night before with Mr.
Graves making the paper slips and the list of all the families. Once the slips are finished, they are put into a black box, which is stored overnight in a safe place at the coal company.
The story briefly mentions how the ballot box has been stored over the years in various places in the town. Including a grocery store shelf, a barn and in the post office basement.
On the morning of the lottery, the townspeople gather close to 10 a. First, the heads of the extended families draw slips until every family has a slip.
Bill Hutchinson gets the one slip with a black spotmeaning that his family has been chosen. The final round is for the individual family members within the winning household to draw, no matter their age.
After the drawing is over and Tessie is picked, the slips are allowed to fly off into the wind. In keeping with tradition, each villager obtains a stone and begins to surround Tessie. The story ends as Tessie is stoned to death while she bemoans the unfairness of the situation.
Themes[ edit ] One of the major ideas of "The Lottery" is that of a scapegoat. The act of stoning someone to death yearly purges the town of the bad and allows for the good.
This is hinted in the references to agriculture. The story also speaks of mob psychology and the idea that people can abandon reason and act cruelly if they are part of a large group of people behaving in the same manner. The idyllic setting of the story also demonstrates that violence and evil can take place anywhere and in any context.
This also shows how people can turn on each other so easily. Alongside the mob mentalitythe story speaks about people who blindly follow traditions without thinking of the consequences of those traditions. These people living in a storybook town are simply acting out an ancient tradition, in a very matter of fact manner.
The perception of malice or evil lies completely with the reader, the "outsider". While going to extreme examples to solicit such thoughts and feelings, the author implores us to look at ourselves and our own society as well as different societies around the world.
The Lottery raises the question of what customs or traditions that are integral to varying societal or belief systems are judged harshly by others, and who or what is the arbiter. Readers[ edit ] The New Yorker received a "torrent of letters" inquiring about the story—"the most mail the magazine had ever received in response to a work of fiction".
Explaining just what I had hoped the story to say is very difficult. Jackson lived in North BenningtonVermontand her comment reveals that she had Bennington in mind when she wrote "The Lottery".
In a lecture printed in her collection, Come Along with MeJackson recalled the hate mail she received in One of the most terrifying aspects of publishing stories and books is the realization that they are going to be read, and read by strangers.
I had never fully realized this before, although I had of course in my imagination dwelt lovingly upon the thought of the millions and millions of people who were going to be uplifted and enriched and delighted by the stories I wrote.
It had simply never occurred to me that these millions and millions of people might be so far from being uplifted that they would sit down and write me letters I was downright scared to open; of the three-hundred-odd letters that I received that summer I can count only thirteen that spoke kindly to me, and they were mostly from friends.
Even my mother scolded me: That summer she regularly took home 10 to 12 forwarded letters each day. Curiously, there are three main themes which dominate the letters of that first summer—three themes which might be identified as bewilderment, speculation and plain old-fashioned abuse.
In the years since then, during which the story has been anthologized, dramatized, televised, and even—in one completely mystifying transformation—made into a ballet, the tenor of letters I receive has changed.
I am addressed more politely, as a rule, and the letters largely confine themselves to questions like what does this story mean?A summary of Themes in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Lottery and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Oct 11, · Shirley Jackson’s classic dystopian short story “The Lottery” ― often assigned in English classes, invoked when current events take a dark turn, and omnipresent in paeans to great short.
The Lottery--Shirley Jackson "Dunbar." several people said. "Dunbar. Dunbar." Mr. Summers consulted his list. "Clyde Dunbar." he said.
He's broke his leg, hasn't he? Who's drawing for him?" "Me. I guess," a woman said. and Mr. Summers turned to look at her. "Wife draws for her husband." Mr. Summers said. The Monster Librarian Presents: Reviews of Supernatural and Occult Themed Books. Things that go bump in the night, flashing lights, furniture that moves by itself: here you will find books about ghosts, haunted houses, the occult, as well as happenings and creatures involving other dimensions.
Breaking the Tradition in The Lottery, a Short Story by Shirley Jackson PAGES 2. WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University.
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