The Lottery – Shirley Jackson’s Short Story


Lottery is a common method of raising funds for various purposes. It has been around for centuries, dating back to biblical times when Moses instructed the people of Israel to divide land by lottery. Today, it’s a common practice among state governments. However, it’s not without its problems. Some states have banned the lottery altogether while others have used it to supplement their revenue. Regardless, the lottery is still an important part of the American culture. Last year alone, Americans spent more than $100 billion on tickets.

Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” explores the human capacity for violence. It takes place in a small town in rural America and revolves around an annual event called the lottery. The townspeople participate in this ritual to ensure a bountiful harvest. It also helps purge the community of bad spirits. During the lottery, people gather in a public square and pile up stones. Children are especially eager to do their part. They quote an old proverb: “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.”

The adults are less enthusiastic about the lottery, but they agree to continue the tradition. They rely on this annual activity to help them deal with the hardships of life and keep them in good standing with the community. Besides, it’s their way of showing their reverence to God. They believe that the lottery is God’s will and if they don’t continue this practice, the crops won’t grow.

One of the main themes in the story is the idea of sin. The people participating in the lottery are aware that they’re doing something wrong, but they don’t care. They are blind to their actions and unable to recognize the underlying evil in their actions. The events of the lottery show that humans are capable of evil and are deceitful by nature.

Jackson uses the setting and the characters to portray the many sins of humanity. The town’s residents are deceitful and hypocritical. They gathered in the town square to conduct a lottery that involves killing one of their members. Yet, they greeted each other and exchanged gossip in a friendly manner. They also handled each other with a lack of respect and sympathy.

This story shows that people are capable of evil and are willing to do anything to survive. The lottery is a perfect example of this. Even though the money raised by the lottery is not as large as that of alcohol or tobacco, it is a tax on vices that is just as harmful to society. Nevertheless, people are still attracted to the lottery and spend large amounts of their income on it. This is because they’re under the illusion that the lottery is a painless form of taxation. Moreover, they are also under the impression that they are doing their civic duty by purchasing a ticket. However, the reality is that lottery commissions are relying on two messages to get people to purchase their tickets.

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