Shirley Hardie Jackson

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Authorial Background Shirley Hardie Jackson was born on December 14, 1916 in San Francisco, California. She is best known for her short story The Lottery, which has received negative feedback because of its dark undertones, and her best-selling novel The Haunting of Hill House. Shirley has influenced many writers like Stephen King. Unfortunately she passed away because of heart failure on August 8, 1965. Setting The story takes place in a small town with around 300 villagers on the warm summer day of June 27th. Since the story does not give specifics we can only assume it takes place in the United States. If the short story’s time period were the same as when the author wrote it, then the year would be 1948. Characters Tessie Hutchinson…show more content…
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.”(5) Plot Summary On the warm summer day of June 27th, the villagers in the town gather together to participate in the annual lottery. Mr. Summers, who runs the event, begins by having the head of every household pick a slip of paper from a black box. Whichever family has the slip with the black dot enters the second drawing of the lottery in which every member of the household participates. Unfortunately the member of the family who picks the slip with the black dot this time does not win money. That person, no matter how old or young, ends up being stoned to death. Themes The Lottery deals with the theme of Traditions and Rituals. Everyone in the town blindly follows the annual tradition of the lottery. No matter how sickening it is, no one dares to question it because this tradition has been around for so long. Longer than the eldest person in the town, Old Man Warner. People are not only wary about stopping the lottery, but also small things like a new box for the lottery drawings. This story shows the danger of blindly following traditions and how people can get so stuck in their way that they won’t accept
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