The Lottery

By Shirley Jackson

A Short Recap

"The Lottery" tells the tale of a small town. The town gathers to the square for an annual lottery. A cheerful mood spreads across the town, and the people in it, due to the rising anticipation of who will win. Eventually the lottery starts, and as people are narrowed down, it's made more and more obvious that the winner undergoes a horrid fate. The winner turns out to be none other than a women named Mrs. Hutchinson. As everyone gathers around her, stones are flown in her direction, until she eventually dies.

In the Story, "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson tells the tale of how the reluctance of the people to reject outdated traditions, rules, laws, and practices can lead to disastrous consequences.

Presentation by Michelle Bloomquist

Text Evidence 1

When one of the citizens, Old Man Warner, hears that other places have given up on the lottery, he dismisses them as a pack of idiots. "'Nothing but trouble in that' Old man Warner said stoutly. 'Pack of young fools.'" (Jackson, 4).

Text Evidence 2

As a family is chosen to be killed, people mutter about who they want to live. Old Man Warner talks about how people were better back in the day. "A girl whispered, 'I hope it's not Nancy,' and the sound of the whisper reached the edges of the crowd. 'It's not the way it used to be.' Old Man Warner said clearly." (Jackson, 5).

Text Evidence 3

When Mrs. Hutchinson freaked out over her possible death, everyone else told her to play fair, and be a good sport, as if everything was a game. "'Be a good sport, Tessie,' Mrs. Delacroix called, and Mrs Graves said, 'All of us took the same chance.'"( Jackson, 4).
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Despite the cruelty in doing so, this town has chosen to accept the murder of their citizens as a reality. They refuse to give up on the lottery, claiming it as "tradition." When other people get rid of the lottery, or wish for someone to live, they are tossed aside as young fools, ruining their tradition. Their reluctance in getting rid of the lottery has lead them to act out what others would see as heinous acts of murder.