The Lottery

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“The Lottery” is a dynamic short story with several motifs and ideas such as the power behind tradition and family. However, more importantly, it has a strong over arching theme that captures the dynamic nature of the short story: outer appearances can be deceiving. This reoccurring theme is illustrated by the idea of the lottery, and the nature of humanity as depicted in the story: weak and evil. The theme, outer appearances can be deceiving, is depicted by the short story’s concept of a lottery and title, “The Lottery”. The idea of a lottery in contemporary culture has a positive connotation as depicted by the media, such as winning large sums of money or expensive new vehicles. However, in the short story, the lottery turns out to be a game of death: winning means to be violently stoned to death. Thus, the idea of a lottery in the story is somewhat deceiving because the winner of the lottery wins something negative such as brutal death rather than something luxurious and grand. Hence, outer appearances can be deceiving because the meaning of a lottery within the culture of the short story is contrary to the contemporary idea of a lottery. Furthermore, none of the villagers want to win the lottery. Tessie illustrates this when she said, “You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper that he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!” In this quote, Tessie is saying that it was not fair that they got the paper with the black spot on it indicating that they were the winners of the lottery: destined to be stoned by friends and family as human sacrifices. Winning the lottery is often seen as a positive event, however, in the short story due to the dark nature of the lottery no one wants to win it. Furthermore, the over arching theme of outer appearances can be deceiving is further shown by the nature of humanity within the short story, particularly the evil side. The underlying evil and weakness of human kind is seen in the villagers that blindly comply...
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