When is it good to conform? After a scare in which she is erroneously told that the building is on fire, she becomes progressively scared of everything in the big city, eventually becoming unable even to cross the street. Summers mixes up the slips of paper in the box. Summers then asks to make sure that Old Man Warner is there too. The drawing continues until each of the Hutchinsons has a slip of paper. Graves takes the slips of paper back and puts five, including the marked slip of paper, in the black box.
He stirs them up, and each member of the family draws a paper. Summers reminds the Hutchinsons that they should keep their slips folded until each person has one. . Summers asks—although he knows the answer, but he poses the question formally—whether or not she has a grown son to draw for her. Bill Hutchinson had drawn the slip of paper with the black dot. Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, came forward to hold the box steady on the stool while Mr. However, the reader comes to realize that the lottery has been unfair all along.
Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, steady the box as Mr. It seems we, as part of a society, are scared of being ridiculed if we change or end a tradition because everyone around us will still behave in the manner they were taught. The box is placed upon the stool. A ventriloquist enters and does an uninteresting show, then sits down with a female friend nearby. Ironically, when it is not in use, it sits as a dust collector in Mr. He says that next the young folks will want everyone to live in caves or nobody to work.
Summers begins to call the names of each family alphabetically, and each head of the household, usually the husband and father, comes forward to take a slip of paper from the black box. In the past, they used chips of wood, but Mr. Summers leading the proceedings while joking with everybody. The villagers grab stones and run toward Tessie, who stands in a clearing in the middle of the crowd. The officials review the names and excuses of absent people, and then go over the lottery rules. Summers mixes up the sheets of paper in the box. Summers creates lists of the heads of families, heads of households in each family, and members of each household in each family.
I think there are several central themes to this story, including death, violence, fate, family, and tradition. As the reading of names continues, Mrs. Even the title of the short story is a classic example of irony. Once the men have chosen, Mr. It seems like they only had the last one a week ago, she continues, even though a year has passed. She joins her husband and children at the front of the crowd, and people joke about her late arrival.
Summers proceeds with identifying which members of their respective households who will draw on behalf of those who are missing. The town realizes that Tess holds the remaining piece of paper with the black dot. When I first read this story I thought it would be a about a struggle in the persons life and survival. They show no remorse for Tessie, however, no matter how well-liked she might be. He shows another couple around the store, then leaves, but the owner sells the very book to the couple instead, violating the agreement. The chosen person, Tess, is coldly stoned to death as the sacrifice for the harvest. Bill Hutchinson regretfully agrees with Mr.
Summers says that they had better get started and get this over with so that everyone can go back to work. It is included in numerous anthologies and often assigned to students, despite its initial chilly reception. She was only 48 years old, although her health had declined in the years prior due to her diet and smoking habit, as well as her use of various drugs to combat lifelong neurosis. 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. Jackson also portrays the village as having outgrown the tradition through a metaphor regarding the slips of paper. If the Lottery began at 10 a.
However, any sunny or bright thoughts associated with the season are dispelled by the presence of Mr. A ritual salute had also been used, but now Mr. The girls keep to themselves. As a student, Jackson worked for the campus literary magazine, where she met her future husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman. In fact, the setting is pointedly vague, as though it could take place anywhere, anytime. This structure relies heavily on gender roles for men and women, where men are the heads of households, and women are delegated to a secondary role and considered incapable of assuming responsibility or leadership roles. It might as well be this insubordination that leads to her selection by the lottery and stoning by the angry mob of villagers.