The Lottery in “The Lottery”

The lottery is a popular game in which numbers are drawn to win a prize. The word usually brings to mind a drawing for cash or goods, but the village lottery described in Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” was more like a cruel ritual that led to the death of one of the participants. It is a reminder that people are capable of great cruelty, even when it is disguised as tradition or a good cause.

In the United States, 44 of the 50 states have lottery games. The six that don’t are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Utah and Nevada, which don’t allow gambling and have other reasons for not running a lottery. In addition, it is possible to cheat in a lottery by weighting the ping-pong balls that are used for the drawing or by using other devices, such as video cameras and cell phones, to steal information about the numbers being chosen.

This article will examine the lottery as a tradition in this village and show how Jackson uses subtle details to foreshadow the horrific outcome of the lottery, which was the stoning of Tessie Hutchinson. The purpose of the article is to show that the blind support of traditions and rituals can lead to terrible consequences, including death. It also demonstrates that the power of tradition is so strong that even reason can’t bring people to change their ways. Ultimately, it is a warning against the dangers of fascistic attitudes.