preview

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson

It is funny how life works out sometimes. You never know what you are going to get. ‘The Lottery’ is a story about a small village that holds a lottery drawing in the middle of the town square. The “winner” of the lottery is then stoned by the town’s people. This piece of literature provides a clear example that things in life are not always what they seem.

The way the characters present themselves in the beginning of the story puts an optimistic view on the lottery. After all, lotteries are generally associated with an increase of wealth and prosperity. The outcome of the scenario seems promising. The town’s people gather with zeal. One character, Mrs. Hutchinson, rushes to make it to the lottery on time. This reassures the reader that the lottery is a must-see event. Another character, Old Man Warner, states that the other towns were crazy for giving up the lottery. With this being said, obviously something good was to come out of the contest. The reader does not suspect the tragedy that lies in the end of the story.

The winner of the lottery does receive an interesting prize. In this story, the “winner” is the biggest loser. Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson wins the lottery and is stoned to death by the other villagers. The lottery is a tradition, therefore, Mrs. Hutchinson has no choice but to accept her prize.

The author used several clues throughout the story that hinted toward the outcome. One clue was that the boys of the town collected and saved the smoothest and roundest stones. Another clue was the hesitation of the men to help hold the black box. Later in the story, Tessie Hutchinson pleads for another chance because she feels that her husband was rushed.
Get Access