the lottery

Topics: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Short story, Shirley Jackson Pages: 8 (3084 words) Published: September 29, 2013
The lottery

1) Look up the history of lotteries. Why did they originate and why? Lotteries are a popular type of gambling most often run by governments and local states. The lottery includes multiple participants who compete and the winning person receives money as a prize most of the time. The chances of winning are very small and the winnings can be very high, about few millions.

Throughout much of the recorded history, the purpose of lotteries was to raise money for funding public works. The lottery games started about 205 to 187 B.C. during the Han Dynasty, which is China today. The reason why the lottery started was to finance government projects, including one of the most famous - the Great Wall of China. Today, in the 21st century, hundreds of years latter the lottery has not changed much. It is still a gambling game, which people choose to play, hoping to win a prize, and the money is still use for government projects.

2) What good questions can you ask as you read the story that will help you understand the story on a deeper level? Why does the writer mention the pile of stones and how are they connected to the rest of the story? What is the reason the writer mentions that Mr. Summers had no children and that wife is scold? And why does she mention it with his job? What was the reason of the hesitation among the villagers when Mr. Summers asked for some help? Why do the villagers not want to replace the old lottery box with a new one? Why is the old box so important to them if it is just an old box for the lottery? Why does Watson the boy draw for himself and his mother? Where is the father? Why when the distribution of papers is over, when everybody ask “who got it”, did they ask especially about Dunbars and Watsons? Is there a connection to the fact that in both of these cases the father was not there and someone else had to do that instead?

3) What are our expectations of the story that glean from the title and the first paragraph? Justify your answer. My expectations about the story are that the story is going to be about the lottery. I infer that because the name of the story and the information the writer gives us about how much time the lotteries use to take. I think that the story is going to be about a person who wins the lottery and it changes his life. Someone is going to get a big amount of money and be very happy about that.

My expectations are that the story will be happening in a very small, nice village. I infer that because the writer tells us that about three hundred people lived in this village. The story happens on a nice warm summer day – June 27th. The first paragraph is very positive and creates a feeling that the story is happening in a wonderful pastoral place - “The flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” These descriptions describe a place, which is “too good to be true (or real in this case)”.

From the first paragraph, the lottery seems like a very popular thing, which many villages us to have. I think that for the villagers - the characters in the story, lottery is a routine, non-special matter. They are so use to it that the raffle takes them less than two hours and they could then hurry up to their homes to eat “noon dinner.” Usually when people are excited about something, they have no appetite, and they do not think about food for a while - this mention of the meal reduces the sense of excitement.

4) Basic understanding of the story. Write a summary of the plot. At a nice summery day, June 27th the people of a little village start gathering together around the square to participate in a lottery run by Mr. Summers. The children are the first to come and they start collecting stones until their parents call them to come and stand by them.

The lottery is an old tradition in this small village, which has about 300 residents and all of them know the lottery rules; each head of the family is call to take a white piece of folded...
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