Plot[ edit ] Details of contemporary small-town American life are embroidered upon a description of an annual ritual known as "the lottery". In a small village in New England of about residents, the locals are in an excited yet nervous mood on June Children gather stones as the adult townsfolk assemble for their annual event, which in the local tradition is practiced to ensure a good harvest Old Man Warner quotes an old proverb: The lottery preparations start the night before with Mr.
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At first glance, the reader is given a story title that invokes, quite naturally, a sense of hope—the expectation that someone is going to win something.
The first few paragraphs further confirm the sense of hope; it is a beautiful summer day, the grass is green, the flowers are blooming, kids out of school are playing…but then we start to see that something is amiss in this land of perfection, plenty, and hope.
Throughout the short story, contrast is everywhere, even from the names of Mr. This means that they are archaic in some ways and rooted in traditions of superstitions that seem to involve crops and human sacrifice. On the one hand, there is great enough reverence for this ages-old tradition to continue on as it has for years even though there were some murmurs of dissent among the crowd as some recognized that other communities had done away with their lotteries.
Still, almost out of fear or superstition or both, the lottery continues to exist but most of the ceremony behind the ritual has been lost. So much has been lost about the initial ritual that the oldest man in the village gets upset that things are not like they used to be.
In short, the lottery is more of a tradition rather than a ritual at the point we witness in the story but out of respect and fear for tradition, the townsfolk are more than willing to commit an act of mass violence, simply for the sake of a tradition.
There is talk of right or wrong, just tradition and standard.
Discuss what this may mean and how it acts as a metaphor for other outdated or outmoded cultural practices. On a second and third reading, however, it becomes clear that this story is full of horrific possibilities and it is these possibilities that make the tale more frightening after the first reading.
For instance, the young boy Davy—too young to even hold his slip of paper properly—could have been the one selected instead of his mother.
Or the fact that the children take part in ritual violence against their own friends and family.
Or even the fact that there is no emotional goodbye to the woman being stoned; it just, well, is what it is. Do a close reading of a few instances such as these that magnify the possibility for a much darker ending.
Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities" Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations" The Lottery and Adventures of the Demon Lover.Read a summary of Langston Hughes' short story, 'Thank You, Ma'am', a snapshot of African-American life in the s.
Explore some of its main. Get an answer for 'What would be a good thesis statement for an argumentative essay on the customs (or traditions) of "The Lottery"?' and find homework help for other The Lottery .
Jackson's "The Lottery" rose to prominence in the s, when, in fact, there was a lottery to determine the order in which young men were drafted. If you were a male born in a certain year and.
As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 75, lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. How to Write Literary Analysis The Literary Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide. When you read for pleasure, your only goal is enjoyment.
You might find yourself reading to get caught up in an exciting story, to learn about an interesting time or place, or just to pass time. Complete summary of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Lottery.