Interpretive Essay: The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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“The Lottery” Interpretive Essay
“The Lottery”, a short story by Shirley Jackson, is about a lottery that takes place in a small village. The story starts of with the whole town gathering in the town square, where Mr. Summers, the official, holds the lottery. After that, every family draws out of an old black box, and a certain family gets picked. Out of the certain family, one person gets picked as the unlucky “winner” of the lottery. In this short story, after the Hutchinson family gets drawn, Tessie Hutchinson is declared “winner” of the lottery. Her prize is that she is stoned to death.This lottery happens because the town doesn’t want to upset the tradition.
The text states, “ ‘Well, now,’ Mr. Summers said soberly, ‘guess we better get started, get this over with so’s we can go back to work. (p. 19, lines 169-171).’ ” Mr. Summers is stated as a “round-faced, jovial man” on page 15, lines 52-53. It seems that he doesn’t enjoy the lottery because he is described as sober. tPage 16, lines 78-82, proves just how long the lottery has
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Summers declared the lottery open. There were lists to make up- of heads of families, heads of households in each family, members of each household in each family.” If there really is so much fussing to be done for the lottery to be declared open in the first place, a logical reason is that it is a tradition. To further the point, the text says, “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 (p. 16, lines 74-77).” This goes back to the point that the town doesn’t want to upset the tradition because they don’t even want to get rid of the black box. The author even hints that it is a tradition, “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones (p. 28, lines
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