The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

 

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green. The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 2th. but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o’clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner.

The children assembled first, of course. School was recently over for the summer, and the feeling of liberty sat uneasily on most of them; they tended to gather together quietly for a while before they broke into boisterous play. and their talk was still of the classroom and the teacher, of books and reprimands. Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones; Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix– the villagers pronounced this name “Dellacroy”–eventually made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys. The girls stood aside, talking among themselves, looking over their shoulders at the boys. and the very small children rolled in the dust or clung to the hands of their older brothers or sisters.

Soon the men began to gather. surveying their own children, speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes. They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed. The women, wearing faded house dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their menfolk. They greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husbands. Soon the women, standing by their husbands, began to call to their children, and the children came reluctantly, having to be called four or five times. Bobby Martin ducked under his mother’s grasping hand and ran, laughing, back to the pile of stones. His father spoke up sharply, and Bobby came quickly and took his place between his father and his oldest brother.

The lottery was conducted–as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program–by Mr. Summers. who had time and energy to devote to civic activities. He was a round-faced, jovial man and he ran the coal business, and people were sorry for him. because he had no children and his wife was a scold. When he arrived in the square, carrying the black wooden box, there was a murmur of conversation among the villagers, and he waved and called. “Little late today, folks.” The postmaster, Mr. Graves, followed him, carrying a three- legged stool, and the stool was put in the center of the square and Mr. Summers set the black box down on it. The villagers kept their distance, leaving a space between themselves and the stool. and when Mr. Summers said, “Some of you fellows want to give me a hand?” there was a hesitation before two men. Mr. Martin and his oldest son, Baxter. came forward to hold the box steady on the stool while Mr. Summers stirred up the papers inside it.

The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born. Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here. Every year, after the lottery, Mr. Summers began talking again about a new box, but every year the subject was allowed to fade off without anything’s being done. The black box grew shabbier each year: by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained.

Mr. Martin and his oldest son, Baxter, held the black box securely on the stool until Mr. Summers had stirred the papers thoroughly with his hand. Because so much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded, Mr. Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations. Chips of wood, Mr. Summers had argued. had been all very well when the village was tiny, but now that the population was more than three hundred and likely to keep on growing, it was necessary to use something that would fit more easily into he black box. The night before the lottery, Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves made up the slips of paper and put them in the box, and it was then taken to the safe of Mr. Summers’ coal company and locked up until Mr. Summers was ready to take it to the square next morning. The rest of the year, the box was put way, sometimes one place, sometimes another; it had spent one year in Mr. Graves’s barn and another year underfoot in the post office. and sometimes it was set on a shelf in the Martin grocery and left there.

There was a great deal of fussing to be done before Mr. Summers declared the lottery open. There were the lists to make up–of heads of families. heads of households in each family. members of each household in each family. There was the proper swearing-in of Mr. Summers by the postmaster, as the official of the lottery; at one time, some people remembered, there had been a recital of some sort, performed by the official of the lottery, a perfunctory. tuneless chant that had been rattled off duly each year; some people believed that the official of the lottery used to stand just so when he said or sang it, others believed that he was supposed to walk among the people, but years and years ago this p3rt of the ritual had been allowed to lapse. There had been, also, a ritual salute, which the official of the lottery had had to use in addressing each person who came up to draw from the box, but this also had changed with time, until now it was felt necessary only for the official to speak to each person approaching. Mr. Summers was very good at all this; in his clean white shirt and blue jeans. with one hand resting carelessly on the black box. he seemed very proper and important as he talked interminably to Mr. Graves and the Martins.

Just as Mr. Summers finally left off talking and turned to the assembled villagers, Mrs. Hutchinson came hurriedly along the path to the square, her sweater thrown over her shoulders, and slid into place in the back of the crowd. “Clean forgot what day it was,” she said to Mrs. Delacroix, who stood next to her, and they both laughed softly. “Thought my old man was out back stacking wood,” Mrs. Hutchinson went on. “and then I looked out the window and the kids was gone, and then I remembered it was the twenty-seventh and came a-running.” She dried her hands on her apron, and Mrs. Delacroix said, “You’re in time, though. They’re still talking away up there.”

Mrs. Hutchinson craned her neck to see through the crowd and found her husband and children standing near the front. She tapped Mrs. Delacroix on the arm as a farewell and began to make her way through the crowd. The people separated good-humoredly to let her through: two or three people said. in voices just loud enough to be heard across the crowd, “Here comes your, Missus, Hutchinson,” and “Bill, she made it after all.” Mrs. Hutchinson reached her husband, and Mr. Summers, who had been waiting, said cheerfully. “Thought we were going to have to get on without you, Tessie.” Mrs. Hutchinson said. grinning, “Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you. Joe?,” and soft laughter ran through the crowd as the people stirred back into position after Mrs. Hutchinson’s arrival.

“Well, now.” Mr. Summers said soberly, “guess we better get started, get this over with, so’s we can go back to work. Anybody ain’t here?”

“Dunbar.” several people said. “Dunbar. Dunbar.”

Mr. Summers consulted his list. “Clyde Dunbar.” he said. “That’s right. He’s broke his leg, hasn’t he? Who’s drawing for him?”

“Me. I guess,” a woman said. and Mr. Summers turned to look at her. “Wife draws for her husband.” Mr. Summers said. “Don’t you have a grown boy to do it for you, Janey?” Although Mr. Summers and everyone else in the village knew the answer perfectly well, it was the business of the official of the lottery to ask such questions formally. Mr. Summers waited with an expression of polite interest while Mrs. Dunbar answered.

“Horace’s not but sixteen vet.” Mrs. Dunbar said regretfully. “Guess I gotta fill in for the old man this year.”

“Right.” Sr. Summers said. He made a note on the list he was holding. Then he asked, “Watson boy drawing this year?”

A tall boy in the crowd raised his hand. “Here,” he said. “I m drawing for my mother and me.” He blinked his eyes nervously and ducked his head as several voices in the crowd said thin#s like “Good fellow, lack.” and “Glad to see your mother’s got a man to do it.”

“Well,” Mr. Summers said, “guess that’s everyone. Old Man Warner make it?”

“Here,” a voice said. and Mr. Summers nodded.

A sudden hush fell on the crowd as Mr. Summers cleared his throat and looked at the list. “All ready?” he called. “Now, I’ll read the names–heads of families first–and the men come up and take a paper out of the box. Keep the paper folded in your hand without looking at it until everyone has had a turn. Everything clear?”

The people had done it so many times that they only half listened to the directions: most of them were quiet. wetting their lips. not looking around. Then Mr. Summers raised one hand high and said, “Adams.” A man disengaged himself from the crowd and came forward. “Hi. Steve.” Mr. Summers said. and Mr. Adams said. “Hi. Joe.” They grinned at one another humorlessly and nervously. Then Mr. Adams reached into the black box and took out a folded paper. He held it firmly by one corner as he turned and went hastily back to his place in the crowd. where he stood a little apart from his family. not looking down at his hand.

“Allen.” Mr. Summers said. “Anderson…. Bentham.”

“Seems like there’s no time at all between lotteries any more.” Mrs. Delacroix said to Mrs. Graves in the back row.

“Seems like we got through with the last one only last week.”

“Time sure goes fast.– Mrs. Graves said.

“Clark…. Delacroix”

“There goes my old man.” Mrs. Delacroix said. She held her breath while her husband went forward.

“Dunbar,” Mr. Summers said, and Mrs. Dunbar went steadily to the box while one of the women said. “Go on. Janey,” and another said, “There she goes.”

“We’re next.” Mrs. Graves said. She watched while Mr. Graves came around from the side of the box, greeted Mr. Summers gravely and selected a slip of paper from the box. By now, all through the crowd there were men holding the small folded papers in their large hand. turning them over and over nervously Mrs. Dunbar and her two sons stood together, Mrs. Dunbar holding the slip of paper.

“Harburt…. Hutchinson.”

“Get up there, Bill,” Mrs. Hutchinson said. and the people near her laughed.

“Jones.”

“They do say,” Mr. Adams said to Old Man Warner, who stood next to him, “that over in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery.”

Old Man Warner snorted. “Pack of crazy fools,” he said. “Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live hat way for a while. Used to be a saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.’ First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery,” he added petulantly. “Bad enough to see young Joe Summers up there joking with everybody.”

“Some places have already quit lotteries.” Mrs. Adams said.

“Nothing but trouble in that,” Old Man Warner said stoutly. “Pack of young fools.”

“Martin.” And Bobby Martin watched his father go forward. “Overdyke…. Percy.”

“I wish they’d hurry,” Mrs. Dunbar said to her older son. “I wish they’d hurry.”

“They’re almost through,” her son said.

“You get ready to run tell Dad,” Mrs. Dunbar said.

Mr. Summers called his own name and then stepped forward precisely and selected a slip from the box. Then he called, “Warner.”

“Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery,” Old Man Warner said as he went through the crowd. “Seventy-seventh time.”

“Watson” The tall boy came awkwardly through the crowd. Someone said, “Don’t be nervous, Jack,” and Mr. Summers said, “Take your time, son.”

“Zanini.”

After that, there was a long pause, a breathless pause, until Mr. Summers. holding his slip of paper in the air, said, “All right, fellows.” For a minute, no one moved, and then all the slips of paper were opened. Suddenly, all the women began to speak at once, saving. “Who is it?,” “Who’s got it?,” “Is it the Dunbars?,” “Is it the Watsons?” Then the voices began to say, “It’s Hutchinson. It’s Bill,” “Bill Hutchinson’s got it.”

“Go tell your father,” Mrs. Dunbar said to her older son.

People began to look around to see the Hutchinsons. Bill Hutchinson was standing quiet, staring down at the paper in his hand. Suddenly. Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. “You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!”

“Be a good sport, Tessie.” Mrs. Delacroix called, and Mrs. Graves said, “All of us took the same chance.”

“Shut up, Tessie,” Bill Hutchinson said.

“Well, everyone,” Mr. Summers said, “that was done pretty fast, and now we’ve got to be hurrying a little more to get done in time.” He consulted his next list. “Bill,” he said, “you draw for the Hutchinson family. You got any other households in the Hutchinsons?”

“There’s Don and Eva,” Mrs. Hutchinson yelled. “Make them take their chance!”

“Daughters draw with their husbands’ families, Tessie,” Mr. Summers said gently. “You know that as well as anyone else.”

“It wasn’t fair,” Tessie said.

“I guess not, Joe.” Bill Hutchinson said regretfully. “My daughter draws with her husband’s family; that’s only fair. And I’ve got no other family except the kids.”

“Then, as far as drawing for families is concerned, it’s you,” Mr. Summers said in explanation, “and as far as drawing for households is concerned, that’s you, too. Right?”

“Right,” Bill Hutchinson said.

“How many kids, Bill?” Mr. Summers asked formally.

“Three,” Bill Hutchinson said.

“There’s Bill, Jr., and Nancy, and little Dave. And Tessie and me.”

“All right, then,” Mr. Summers said. “Harry, you got their tickets back?”

Mr. Graves nodded and held up the slips of paper. “Put them in the box, then,” Mr. Summers directed. “Take Bill’s and put it in.”

“I think we ought to start over,” Mrs. Hutchinson said, as quietly as she could. “I tell you it wasn’t fair. You didn’t give him time enough to choose. Everybody saw that.”

Mr. Graves had selected the five slips and put them in the box. and he dropped all the papers but those onto the ground. where the breeze caught them and lifted them off.

“Listen, everybody,” Mrs. Hutchinson was saying to the people around her.

“Ready, Bill?” Mr. Summers asked. and Bill Hutchinson, with one quick glance around at his wife and children. nodded.

“Remember,” Mr. Summers said. “take the slips and keep them folded until each person has taken one. Harry, you help little Dave.” Mr. Graves took the hand of the little boy, who came willingly with him up to the box. “Take a paper out of the box, Davy.” Mr. Summers said. Davy put his hand into the box and laughed. “Take just one paper.” Mr. Summers said. “Harry, you hold it for him.” Mr. Graves took the child’s hand and removed the folded paper from the tight fist and held it while little Dave stood next to him and looked up at him wonderingly.

“Nancy next,” Mr. Summers said. Nancy was twelve, and her school friends breathed heavily as she went forward switching her skirt, and took a slip daintily from the box “Bill, Jr.,” Mr. Summers said, and Billy, his face red and his feet overlarge, near knocked the box over as he got a paper out. “Tessie,” Mr. Summers said. She hesitated for a minute, looking around defiantly. and then set her lips and went up to the box. She snatched a paper out and held it behind her.

“Bill,” Mr. Summers said, and Bill Hutchinson reached into the box and felt around, bringing his hand out at last with the slip of paper in it.

The crowd was quiet. A girl whispered, “I hope it’s not Nancy,” and the sound of the whisper reached the edges of the crowd.

“It’s not the way it used to be.” Old Man Warner said clearly. “People ain’t the way they used to be.”

“All right,” Mr. Summers said. “Open the papers. Harry, you open little Dave’s.”

Mr. Graves opened the slip of paper and there was a general sigh through the crowd as he held it up and everyone could see that it was blank. Nancy and Bill. Jr.. opened theirs at the same time. and both beamed and laughed. turning around to the crowd and holding their slips of paper above their heads.

“Tessie,” Mr. Summers said. There was a pause, and then Mr. Summers looked at Bill Hutchinson, and Bill unfolded his paper and showed it. It was blank.

“It’s Tessie,” Mr. Summers said, and his voice was hushed. “Show us her paper. Bill.”

Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company office. Bill Hutchinson held it up, and there was a stir in the crowd.

“All right, folks.” Mr. Summers said. “Let’s finish quickly.”

Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones. The pile of stones the boys had made earlier was ready; there were stones on the ground with the blowing scraps of paper that had come out of the box Delacroix selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar. “Come on,” she said. “Hurry up.”

Mr. Dunbar had small stones in both hands, and she said. gasping for breath. “I can’t run at all. You’ll have to go ahead and I’ll catch up with you.”

The children had stones already. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson few pebbles.

Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. “It isn’t fair,” she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head. Old Man Warner was saying, “Come on, come on, everyone.” Steve Adams was in the front of the crowd of villagers, with Mrs. Graves beside him.

“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.

63 responses to “The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

  1. “The Lottery” tells the story of a tradition practiced by villagers of an anonymous small town. This tradition seems to be eternal since no one knows when it started or how it will end. Tradition is obviously powerful in this town since it was the only reason to justify the act of killing someone.

  2. I didn’t expect to story to turn out the way it did given the title “The Lottery”. But of course it isn’t fair. I’m not a fan of the old man, just because it’s what they always do, doesn’t mean they can’t stop. He seemed bitter almost, and he probably would have said the same thing if he were chosen. But, glad to not be apart of this kind of community, and to think this is real, is quite scary.

  3. This little village is blindly following a tradition in which the village does not know the origin. The outcome of this tradition is the death of a individual from the village, and they do not see it as a murder but as a traditional outcome. After the stoning is complete everyone goes back to their regular live and no one questions the fact that they just killed someone. And the fact that the reason for it was tradition is enough for them to justify the act.

  4. Due to the fact the ridiculous writing lab computers video playback have the poorest audio in the first world, I was unable to hear the video. Therefore, I must comment on the story alone without the analysis.
    This is a clear example of the lack of individual freedoms such as freedom of speech and right to not be subject to cruel and unusual punishment. Someone or most likely some small group (think in terms of an oligarchy)along the way decided the rules of the lottery in this short story. Yet no one has had the courage to dispute the whole validity of the lottery, whether by forced cohersion or blatant punishment for non compliance. Freedom of the people keeps governments in check or as in this short story, would abolish such ridiculous apparatasus as is the lottery.

  5. watching this helped me understand the short story more, this sort of resembles the hunger games. it is so sad that people fail to value the life other individuals. it is scary that they would do this back in the day.

  6. The Lottery shows a great representation of tradition and behavior, in which, in this story is passed down from generation to generation. Although the villagers comply to this tradition, the results of it become party to murder.Nevertheless, the lottery is an extreme example of our current society such as, our political issues, where we as a nation do not question them.

  7. This story is so relative to any time. The most sense of this story is that people are so ignorant to what is set in stone and won’t believe their intuitions on what is right and wrong. To know that because we need to make a sacrifice for God so we will continue to do so just because it has been passed on is so sad that people will believe anything that is said. Just like today religion people are so against gays because the Bible says that it has to be a woman and a man together that people don’t want to believe that our species grows as time goes on and just because it is not written in the Bible does not mean it is wrong.

  8. Watching the video and reading the short story I’m shocked that they would actually do this. It goes to show that people are capable of doing terrible things.

  9. The video was really helpful for me and understanding the short story and looking at it from all perspectives. I can not believe that the community would go along with this idea just for more crops each year. But the community is not looking at this as a fun thing for the family but rather as a duty in order to keep the town booming with crops. It seems like it is more of a team effort as if they are all in it together and everyone has to do their part whether it is casting a stone on the unlucky winner or being the victim and having to take stones to the body.

  10. Idiocracy at its finest. This community does this annual sacrifice of an individual in order to receive more crops in return. I don’t know why this is necessary, if cropping techniques have been in place for centuries for now. I believe this town is doing this to keep a tradition from burning out and following the traces of their ancestors.

  11. This story is similar with another story the Young Goodman. Both stories show the ruthlessness and fake among these so called “civilized” people. This story also shows the danger and the violence of the silence. When the majority in our society stays in silence, it becomes swords towards weak groups.

  12. This is crazy
    I cant believe this is even real
    why is this world so cold?
    this really saddens me

  13. “There’s always been a lottery!” is a statement of a type of logical fallacies called “appeal to tradition or faith.” What this story reflects is the tendency that people always point fingers to others first whenever a mistake is uncovered. Throughout human history, a scapegoat is often used to carry the bad luck away. Nowadays, a scapegoat could be an individual, a group, or even a nation that is used to take the blame. Tessie Hutchinson is the scapegoat, a human sacrifice to people’s selfishness.

  14. Very similar to the hunger games. It is astounding to see the value and way of which the offering was picked. Everyone is so calm and collected about it especially involving the children like it was some wholesome activity. Like uhh no big deal, let’s stone em’ quick so we can hurry and catch the last bit of our show. Idiocracy at its finest.

  15. This is a nice parody argument to ” It is tradition” or ” It has always been this way” I would ask these people ” What way, a good way, or a bad way?” or ” What is tradition to you, and is it worth the keeping of tradition if the cost is X”. X being the cost, much like this short stoies cost would be a life. You could probaly argue that its not just tradition in this story, but the people partaking in this also have other factors to consider to why keeping such tradition. It could be a way to release stress, maybe it is fun and ejoyable family and community time. A reader might ask how is stoning fun?! I am not familiar with the activity, but other people are and it might be enjoyable for them so this could also be added into the equation of whether or not it is worth keeping the tradition. It also could be that they do it for a belief system as in like sacrifices for good harvest or the sort. They have their reasons of why is just a question of educating these people out their traditions. If such thing occurred in my community, i would not confront the people who just killed someone. I would probaly begin teaching them better ways, but i wont go into depth how, because the WRC closes right now.

  16. I found it interesting because the towns people live in a generation like we do today, but they are secluded from society. And it’s weird how the tradition is about one of the towns people getting stoned because back in the biblical times that’s what the people would do if someone was a murder or thief. They would place them in a giant hole and throw stones at them until they died. And that’s exactly what happens in this story and its said because they think by doing this their crops will produce more than last year, but they are sadly mistaken.

  17. This story represents ignorance on a very large scale. Someone making up a God that no one will ever see, and to be sacrificed to this God is pure ignorance, with a lot of evil. I could not imagine myself or anyone I know, ever in this position. *In the event that a human is sacrificed and crops don’t grow, (then what). I am getting an involuntary cult vibe from this story. * No one wants to be sacrificed with the lottery, but there is no way out of the situation. Unfortunately humans will always have some idiot way of doing things to hurt the innocent.

  18. It is crazy to realize that this short story was at one point a way of living to some societies. Before modern time some cultures actually believed that you had to make virgin sacrifices to certain God’s in order for them to get whatever blessing it is they were praying for. In this particular story I would not call Tessie a victim of this culture but more rather of a sore looser. She was perfectly fine with participating in the lottery when she thought there was no chance of it being her family who was picked, When it came down to it and it was her husband Bill who was the winner, that is when all of a sudden everything was deemed unfair. Seeing as how she waited until then to deem it unfair I find it all fair for everyone who participated in this so called “tradition.”

  19. I read this in high school and thought that this was just a terrible thing to do. To annually pick someone to kill is an outrageous idea; however, there was enough favor for it that the law was enacted every year. At first it might have seemed like a good idea, but now people live in fear of the lottery and are scared to go against it. Also, I can’t help but think that this story helped inspire Hunger Games.

  20. This story shows that people can rationalize just about anything on the basis of tradition. The community has a lottery, but nobody really knows why. They do it just because it has been done for so long. This kind of thinking has hindered the community’s potential for change, and without change, there is no potential for things to get better.

  21. This story tells what has happened in our history and what i believe might still be happening, sacrifices are very ancient but i have heard of cultures that still do them today. It is crazy to think that people believe that a god wants them to do this i believe ewe have no right to take any ones life.

  22. this is what happens when a group of people are against change. They even talk about how other towns have given up the lottery but the old man just calls them “Pack of crazy fools” and say it is tradition. This is a problem society is constantly facing, the fear that comes with change.

  23. This is a genuine piece of art. This story talks about the process of lottery and how it has become a tradition. People are willing to do extreme things, even if they do not make sense, for the sake of their traditions. This story should make us think about us. We all have traditions. Some people’s tradition might be going to church every Sunday just because they were taught to do so. Some people’s tradition is to spend time with family one specific day a week. These and other tradition do not sound “as bad” but we need to think of the reason behind it and if it really worth it.

  24. The thought of human sacrifice is absurd in today’s world, but it was in fact a firm belief of previous generations. People used human sacrifices as an offering to the Gods. The Aztecs for example, believed that human sacrifices were a way to thank the gods for all they had, and a way to maintain peace.

  25. This story remind me of the Salem witch trial. Using tradition as a label to justified killing someone is wrong. I cannot believed how the town people are participating and encouraging young generation to stone an innocence person. That is not justice but murder.

  26. Reading this short story made me realize how similar this is to what we live in now. It shows how capable society is of what they can do. A sacrifice isn’t the best decision to make, but since it was viewed as a tradition it was viewed as a social norm rather than something inhumane.

  27. This is a dark piece of literature. It is ironic because the whole time the lottery is commencing it has a light mood towards everything. With the crowd laughing and talking casually, even though they know what is to come to the person that is picked. After all it is their tradition. This is a good piece to show the extremes people will endure to fulfill their traditions, eve if it means the murdering of the innocent.

  28. I first read this story when I was a sophomore in high school, at that time I was having a discussion about tradition with the class, but after reading this story again I realized the importance of tradition and how people will go to extremes just to fulfill their duty. just like the mayans and the aztecs sacrificing their own people as meals to the gods, Tessie was called up to fulfill her duties.

  29. I feel that this short story shows the power of traditions, and how it can have such a great influence on a group of people. Nobody know why they keep the lottery going, yet they continue just for the sake of upholding tradition.

  30. At first I wanted to see one of the good townsfolk win. There was such a sense of community and friendship. As the story progressed, the friendly atmosphere gave way to short tempers and a sense of fear. The part I find appalling was not merely the sanctioned murder but the joy which was derived from it.

  31. It’s crazy how tradition or religion can brainwash people to think something is okay when in reality it’s not. I hope our society never becomes like this because that would be tragic.

  32. When reading this its kind of scary to think this was probably how things really were in small towns or villages a long time ago. The fact that a belief can rule over so many people just to ensure their own safety and security.

  33. It’s sad that we as a nation are almost this bad. Mostly because nobody like to think for themselves and everyone would like to think that the government is doing the right thing for us and not question them. We as a nation are voting on things we know nothing about and when are leaders are doing us wrong nobody cares because it fixes whats going on at that time and we fallow blindly even though it might harm us later.

  34. This story is scary because in this community you never know when you are going to be chosen to die. People can die at anytime but in this community they pick someone to die so everyone knows that someone is going to die that day. Once someone is chosen the community gets together and stones the individual to death. It is scary that the people of that community can just kill someone and go on with their lives like nothing happened.

  35. I still remember when I first glance at the title of this sort story the first thing that came to my mind was this comedy movie title, “The Lottery Ticket”. But they have nothing in common in regards of the plot and theme.

  36. I don’t think I would ever be able to cast away someones life so easily for the sake of some tradition. People back then really had no regard for someone else’s life but there own.

  37. This story is so true! So many flaws throughout history have continued solely on the fact as the old man said, “That’s the way its always been!” Just because something has been a tradition for many years does not mean its right. The woman at the end pleading this isn’t right was completely right. Luckily, issues like this and segregation, for example, have improved and as a society we are understanding our flaws and slowly fixing them.

  38. it is a good thing that today that we value each other and we don’t fall into this sad thing i hope this never happens in our society in this way or another way.

  39. This is such a sad story the way we can gambble the life of another human being . this story shows how important traditions are and how hard it can be to break out of them.

  40. I see the actions of the townspeople as a metaphor for the superstitions and ignorance which have caused so much other violence in our world. The townspeople believe that if they carry out the lottery, their town will prosper. A lot of people in our world feel that violence will lead to something beneficial. In Jackson’s story, by linking the violence to an age-old tradition that makes almost no sense, she demonstrates the foolishness of all such forms of violence.

  41. The first time that I read The Lottery, I was a freshman in high school. At that age, the only thing that I was able to take away from reading it was how awful and terrifying this concept was. I am glad that I was given the chance to reflect on it again in college because while it is still incredibly sad, there is still more for me to learn from it. Like how cultures will stick with their traditions, no matter how barbaric they are, until the very end, just because they are traditions.

  42. This story was very powerful, in my opinion. It really expresses the fact that people willingly and blindly belong to institutions without a purpose. They also do not realize how these institutions hurt them.

  43. This was a very interesting story because I been through the same thing such as, The danger of blindly following tradition, family, and rules.

  44. It’s interesting that, in a certain way, this could happen. I’m sure most people instantly shake their heads in dismay, and brush something like this off as if it could never happen, but with the right mind set I’m sure all of humanity is capable of this. When humans panic, we start to think irrationally and often resort to outrageous things.

  45. After watching this short movie it made me think of the movie “Hunger Games.” It seeems, from an outsiders perspective, that the selection process or even the practice itself might be a bad and in fair thing. Wondering what I would do if I lived in a society such as this is difficult to fathom. What if my name was called?

  46. This would be scary lottery. Before watching the film in class, i read the title and thought someone had won the lottery and had a crazy amount of money now. To my surprise it was a bad lottery, a lottery no one would want to win.

  47. This story is very intriguing that one must be sacrificed in order to bring good fortune to the town. More so, this fortune would be for the crops. It is hard to fathom that such an act would exist. I have read many stories of ancient civilizations making such sacrifices of their own people to please the Gods, The Egyptian and Mayans. It was thought to bring a positive outcome by means of rain or when enduring a battle. It is a human element that is still embedded in must of us, when natural instincts of survival out way all other elements within us. The power of such actions by a group is hard to over come by a single individual, especially when in fact such good fortunes is the out come. Only when such act continue and the results are not positive, will people begin to question such acts. Peer pressure is a powerful element in all of us and to stand against stupidity or such acts can have substantial results, to either change or not.

  48. It is hard to believe a whole town would allow for a Lottery of a life to be ruffled away such as this, but looking back through history it is actually quite easy to understand. In this town sacrificing a life was to them normal like the Old man said, “Its always been that way!” The same goes for the mayans and aztecs that killed for their gods. Luckily throughout mankind we have improved our humanity and banned past norms like slavery, womens rights, etc. I think a big part of this character growth in mankind is education as well as trial and error.

  49. This story in the aspect of reality was wild. I can not wrap my mind around how someone yet alone a whole town would think this was ok as well as fair!

  50. This story implies a brutal crowd who are accustom as a society to harm ordinary people who have no guilt in crime, and all this happens because of a ritual belief. For us Americans this is unnatural but for other country it is not. This reminds me of the story that was nationwide on YouTube about Kony 2012, how he would abduct children. It is happening everywhere, a society needs to provide change in order to succeed with justice.

  51. I Think that “The Lottery ” has many good points one of them is how tradition plays a cruicial role on what we do. Being brought up a certain way always molds the person in what they believe is right. If we would be brought up in the community where the lottery takes place it would be normal, but since we are outsiders we see that the lottery is a horrible event.

  52. Its very disturbing to know that humans can throw there moral beliefs out the window, follow the crowd, and begin to have such a behavior that they probably once claimed that they could never do. people can be so selfish, and they fall so deep into there pride, that they forget to remember what is really right and wrong.

  53. It is not fair. But it is sad that this thing still can happen today. We are so weak that we can’t think right in the group of people. So we do violent things which is not supposed to happen. It seems this story implies there still are people who are victimized, just like Tessie.

  54. This is absolutely disturbing to me. To see what human beings will do when face to face with death. Its as if all sense of honor or bravery is just thrown out the window and we turn to animal instinct. Killing one another in the name of superstition. This is not how we should act, for human life is a gift and should be highly respected and protected yet these people are so willing to take life for food.

  55. It is appalling to me what people are capable of in the name of tradition, religion, or simply the greater good. It’s frightening to think of how long these kinds of acts have occurred through out history. It makes me wonder if events such as these come from human nature or cconscience decision, however i would tend to think a mixture of both.

  56. Reading this story and watching the video were both real eye openers. It just goes to show how people are capable of doing very terrible thing to each other. Even though it was considered tradition to hold a lottery to sacrifice a person, it just seemed inhuman. People back then didn’t value others people lives like we do now. They were just heartless.

  57. I remember being shocked when I first read The Lottery. Even though I knew The Lottery was fiction, I couldn’t believe that people could be capable of committing such atrocities for the sake of an antiquated tradition. However, reading a little bit of history proves quite the opposite; people are capable of violence towards others.
    The townspeople in the town have forgotten why they hold the annual lottery in which a person is sacrificed such brutal fashion. The townspeople continue the lottery for the simple reason that they have had it for as long as they can remember and have not known a time when they didn’t carry out such killings; tradition holds a higher position in that society than logic.
    The Lottery can be seen as a social criticism by Shirley Jackson on how people, reasonable and compassionate as they might be, are capable of committing the most barbaric acts and unspeakable horrors when they are swept up by a mob or ordered to do so by an authority figure.

  58. The story of “The Loterry” by Shirley jackson, demonstrates the negative effects that conformity can inflict into an entire society. For instance, the villagers from the small town, where the story takes place, blindly accepted an old tradition that involves human sacrifice. What maskes the story so compelling is that the entire people from the town were only concerned in fixing the old box that was use in the lottery than stopping their useless tradition. I am sure that the majority of Americans would strongly disapprove and reject this cruel activity. Yet, we as a society have also comply on immoral actions. One good example of obedience to authority was the recent invasion of Iraq. Anyone that was against the invasion during that time was label unpatriotic and sympathizer with the “Terrorist” as Bush stated in his state of the union speech. Thus, we as society are still bound to this primitive instinc called social conformity.

  59. Its easy to follow the crowd even when you know its not the right thing to do. No one wants the finger pointed at them so its just a more comfortable side to be on. It is horrible to see that people get killed for no reason and the people who kill them do not even end up caring that they have known that person for a long time. Its like they were never friends and its scary to even think that the person you might be closest to you can turn agaianst you because of one piece of paper with a dot on it.

  60. Its hard when your in that posistion to be the one to call for change when its the right thing to do. If it was an easy decision to call to an end for the lottery then it would’ve happened already and they would be like the other few towns that made the right call. Sometimes it is hard to stand up for what is best when tradition and sometimes majority rule against you.

  61. People are capable of unspeakable evil in the sense of tradition and social acceptance. It serves as a grim reminder to us of human nature and the evils that lay repressed with in us all. While the ignorance of some is bliss in the denial of such act, those that carry the burden of knowledge know how horrific the acts of a person or group can be.

  62. I think it’s pretty sad that we as americans fail to value the life of individuals. To simply raffle off the life of a human being without any remorse is scary. I’m really glad that the times have moved on and you really don’t see this stuff where we live today. The lady who screamed it’s not fair was absolutely correct because it wasn’t fair to her at that time. You basically had no choice once you pickled that small piece of paper. It was your seal of fate.

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