The Lottery

Topics: The Lottery, Short story, Stoning Pages: 3 (803 words) Published: June 23, 2013
The Lucky Ones
“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
Every year millions of people line up at gas stations and convenience stores with the ultimate desire to be the next winner of the lottery. The lottery is a tradition in our country, a tradition that has led to thousands of winners who are deemed “the lucky ones.” However, is following tradition always a good thing? Are the winners of this desirable lottery always so lucky? Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” employs a detached, unique tone and utilizes ambiguous symbolism to reveal the inhumanity of mindlessly following societal tradition.

“The Lottery” commences on the morning of June 27th, which “was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day” (Jackson par. 1). In this town “there’s always been a lottery”; every year the townspeople gather in the town square in order to conduct their traditional act of the lottery (Jackson par. 30). In the meantime, Jackson goes on to describe the intricate setting of “flowers blossoming profusely and the richly green grass” (Jackson par.2). She describes the young children participating in “boisterous play” and the mothers gathering together to “exchange bits of gossip”(Jackson par.2). Mr. Summers, “a round-faced, jovial man,” is the conductor of the lottery; however, people felt sorry for him because he has “no children and his wife was a scold” (Jackson par. 4). Once he declares the lottery open, Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson comes hurriedly to the square proclaiming that she “clean forgot what day it was” (Jackson par. 8). After Mr. Summers calls every head of the household up to retrieve a paper, the town realizes it is the Hutchinson’s who have been selected. Tessie immediately starts protesting, saying, “it wasn’t fair” (Jackson par. 45). Tessie then draws the final lottery paper; consequently, she was stoned to death. The tone of Jackson’s perturbing story, or “whatever leads us to...
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