“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is about a lottery, taking place in a small village. This though, is no ordinary lottery. On the 27th of June, the entire village gather at a square, where they begin collecting stones. Then all the villagers are assembled, the head of the lottery, goes to the stage, with a black box full of paper slips, one for each family household. The families names are then called one by one, and the head of the family goes to the stage and picks a slip of paper. When all the slips has been spread, the family possessing the slip marked with a black dot is the chosen one.all the slips are then collected, and a special pile of slips are made. Each member of that family, has to pick a new slip, and the person who gets the dot-marked slip, is stoned, and probably killed.
The story takes place, as mentioned before, in a small village in the countryside, on a square between the post office and the bank.
The People we hear about in the story, are the residents of the village, where the story takes place. The most noticeable character in “The Lottery” is possibly Mr. Summers, who is responsible of the lottery. Mr. Summers is described in the text as a round-faced, Jovial man, in charge of the local coal business. The rest of the people in te village also feel sorry for him, because he has no children. Further more, the story tells us, that mr. Summers is very good at leading the lottery
To begin with, the atmosphere in the story, is very happy and relaxed. The kids gather stones and play together, and the parents arrive and start talking too, make the atmosphere very calm and idyllic. As the story run along though and the lottery progresses, the atmosphere becomes more and more tense.
As far as i can see, the narrator or point of view in this text, is a 3rd person narrator, because the narrator, can hear, what everyone is saying, but he does not know any of their thoughts.
When it comes to foreshadowing or set-up & pay-off, i think that the biggest set-up if not the only setup in this story, is the children collecting their stones as a preperation for the lottery.when you read “The Lottery”, and read about the children and their stones, it makes no sense to you, because who on earth links a pile of stones to a lottery. It is first at the end of the story, where you find out what the stones are used for (the pay-off), that it actually makes sense.
When looking at the title of the story, “The Lottery” - it makes pretty good sense to me even though, the story is not about a traditional lottery, but a lottery never the less.
In my oppinion, the theme in the story is “Death can be fun”, because for some reason (we do not know why), the villagers kill each other, and to make it feel a bit less serious, they have figured out a way for them to make it fun.
The message in this story, I think is, that you should not play with death. I do not think, that humans should be in charge of who has to die, and who has to live, it is not a decision, a human should make, even though, it is not the humans directly that makes the decision.
All in all i find this story to be good, because it is a brilliant example on how not to behave in the real world.