However, the setting is deeply ironic, for it serves to highlight the hypocrisy, brutality, and perhaps even inherent evil of human nature, or at least this town and nearby towns, even after centuries of supposed civilization. Initially, the reader has no idea what the lottery truly entails, which is a sanitized ritual in brutality. The “winner” of the lottery ironically gets stoned to death by the town’s people. They otherwise appear to be normal, not murderous, but this is just what they do every so often. In contrast to the true nature of the lottery and Mrs. Hutchinson ...
... middle of paper ...
...y is: senseless murder.
Probably what made readers most upset, beyond the banal brutality itself, was the realization that humans easily inure themselves to murderous rituals and that they themselves could see something of themselves in the awful irrationality of superstition. The rest of the short stories emphasize, time and again, how so-called civilized people are murderous, irrational, petty, and generally bad toward one another on a frequent basis. Jackson has told this story in 25 different ways; this is just the most extreme, yet horrifyingly realistic, version of the story of the hellish side of human nature. Does the society that we live in not have the unfair and unjust practices today that we do not deem to be unfair and unjust? We are the same as this short story in the fact that we both have our scapegoats and “reasoning” behind what we do as a society.
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