analysis of the lottery

Topics: Religion, Short story, Human Pages: 2 (355 words) Published: September 1, 2014


An Analysis of “The Lottery”

“The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, is about villagers who gather in the square in a small town to run a lottery conducted by Mr. Summers. Mrs. Hutchinson arrives late so there are little chats in the square. After she arrives, Mr. Summers calls last names of families in order to aware for the head of each family to draw a slip of paper from the black wooden box. After all of them have chosen, Mr. Summers allows them to open the slip of paper and check to see which one has a black mark. Finally, Bill Hutchinson has the marked paper, but Mrs. Hutchinson says that it is not fair because Bill didn’t have enough time to take any paper what he wanted. Thus, Mr. Summers places five slips of paper into the box and each member of the family draws. They mostly have blank papers, but on Tessie’s paper there is a black spot. She screams again that it is not fair, but villagers throw stones at her. Jackson’s central idea is that societies follow traditions without questioning the validity of those traditions. Also, murder cannot be excused by tradition, and humans invent belief systems to cope with the unknown forces of nature. Lastly, People are not bothering by tradition until they are directly affected. Many critics have commented on this story. One critic has said, “The people in the village, including the little kids had no problem killing Mrs. Hutchinson. So what does this say about human nature? Well, it basically says that we as human beings are capable of anything”(Rhines). I liked Rhines’ comment because the villagers get used to doing dreadfully evil in the Jackson’s story, and it is exactly same feeling as mine that human nature and humans are capable of all things. 2

Works Cited
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Short Fiction: Classic and Contemporary.
6th ed. Ed. Charles Bohner and Lyman Grant. Upper Saddle River,
New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006. 562-567. Print.
Rhines, Nuri. “Literary analysis: The Lottery, by...

Cited: Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Short Fiction: Classic and Contemporary.
6th ed. Ed. Charles Bohner and Lyman Grant. Upper Saddle River,
New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006. 562-567. Print.
Rhines, Nuri. “Literary analysis: The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson.”
http://www.helium.com/items/1956051-the-lottery-by-shirley-jackson-summary-of-the-lottery-by-shirley-jackson. 18 Sept. Web. 6 Feb. 2012.
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