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The Lottery

By Shirley Jackson (2)

In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson creates a modern world where savage rituals are still enforced. Jackson's short story opens upon a quiet gathering of people in a small town. It is a warm day, the 27th of June, and the people of the community are waiting on the village green for an unnamed event. The children are filling their pockets with stones, while the adults talk to one another in subdued tones. A similar ceremony is being held in towns across the land. Mr. Summers arrives with a black box, followed by Mr. Graves with a three-legged stool. Mr. Summer shuffles the papers in the box as the crowd looks on, and a housewife, Mrs. Hutchinson, hurries to join the crowd, having suddenly remembered that it was the day of the lottery. By seemingly random chance, she receives the paper with the black mark, and begins to plead with the others to rectify the decision, as readers remain oblivious to the ritual’s final outcome. The final, ominous scene has the villagers begin the ceremonial act of stoning Mrs. Hutchinson to death, and the whole village, including her own family, partake in the stoning. A chilling examination of how custom shapes the lives of people, “The Lottery” is a catalyst for a lively discussion among high school students about the injustices of society.

Study Guide: The Lottery Rose (eBook) cover

Study Guide: The Lottery Ro...Learning Links/Novel-TiesLGLS006622 Pages, Grades 6 - 9

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Teaching Unit: The Lottery (eBook) cover

Teaching Unit: The Lottery ...Prestwick HousePWH30322233 Pages, Grades 7 - 12

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