"The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson (English 1302) Literature:Short Story

Essay by MexomorphUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.6 1 reviews

Downloaded 88 times

"The Lottery," by Shirley Jackson, is about a small village in which the citizens gather for a yearly lottery. On this summer afternoon, the town's citizens gather in the town square to take part in the yearly lottery by drawing slips of paper from the traditional black box that has been a part of the town for generations. Everyone in the town awaits this yearly tradition with anticipation, and most agree that it should continue the way it has for years. They do this as a superstitious ritual to determine the crop harvest for the following season.

The unlucky winner of the lottery, Tessie Hutchinson, is a well-liked person in her town, although her kindness is overlooked when she begins to complain and protest the method of the lottery drawing. When Hutchinson's name is called out to come draw a slip of paper, Tessie hurries her husband along to the box.

This conduct makes her seem anxious about the drawing, and confident that their slip of paper won't have the dreaded black dot on it. When Tessie's name is finally drawn, she pleads for another chance and screams for mercy, demanding that the drawing was unfair. She becomes whiny and annoying to her fellow villagers who have no sympathy regarding the outcome. Her good friend, Mrs. Delacroix, was one of the first in the crowd to say, "Be a good sport, Tessie." Her own husband tells her to shut up. Other characters in the story also make comments concerning Tessie's complaints and annoying cries, but she doesn't question the reasoning behind the lottery, only the method of how she was chosen.

The conflict of the story appears when the black box is brought into the square, which contains one slip of paper marked with a dot among many...