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Commentary on The Lottery Essay


The short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson takes place in a small village, where the people are close and tradition is very important. A yearly event, called the lottery, is one in which one person in the town is randomly chosen, by a drawing, to be violently stoned by friends and family. As the townspeople gather and wait for the ceremony to begin, some calmly piling stones together, they discuss everyday matters of work and family, behaving in ways that suggest the ordinariness of their lives and of the impending event. Tessie Hutchinson, arriving late, talks with her friend, Mrs. Delacroix, about the household chores that almost make her to miss the lottery. Although everyone appears to agree that the annual lottery is important, no one seems to know when it began or what its original purpose was. As Mr. Summers reads off an alphabetical list of names, the heads of each household come forward to select a folded slip of paper from an old black wooden box. Bill Hutchinson draws the paper with the black mark on it, and people immediately begin speculating about which Hutchinson will actually "win" the drawing. Each member of Bill's family then draws a slip from the box. Tessie selects the paper with the black mark on it, and she vigorously protests the unfairness of the drawing. The townspeople refuse to listen to her, and as the story ends they begin to pelt her with the stones they have gathered.

In my opinion about The Lottery is that the message of the story teaches about life, and the reality of life. We tend to gather toward nasty gossip and are interested in spite of the privacy of the subjects involved, whether it is standing on the side to watch a fight or accident. The story is like everyday life because it doesnt involve the person who isnt being concerned but when it does affect the person then it matters. Everyday people get accuses or blamed for things that didnt involve them, just like Tessie did in the story.

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