This Lottery is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. It was first published in the New Yorker on June 26th 1948. The story takes place on June 27th in a small American village with a population of around 300 people. June 27th is the annual celebration of the lottery, which, in the story, takes places on the same day in nearly every city, town and village. Every person in the village has to take place in the lottery. Due to the small size of the population, the takes place in less than two hours. The townspeople gather in the town square where Mr. Summers, the lottery official, and each head of household draws a slip of paper from an old black box. One of the characters, Tessie Hutchinson, arrives at the event at the last minute,
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Summers mixes the papers. Once the drawing begins, and Mr. Adams, the first villager to draw from the box steps forward, the atmosphere is very tense. As the drawing continues, those who have already chosen a paper turn them over and over in their hands, a sign of discomfort and nervousness. When Bill Hutchinson he has drawn the paper with the black mark on it he just stands and stares down at the paper in his hand rather than being pleased he has won the lottery. Once Tessie Hutchinson becomes angry and panicked it is clear that there is no victory involved. The way the author withholds information about the lottery from the reader until the very end of the story is a technique which moves the omniscient narrative forward. It’s the intrigue encouraging the reader to reach the end of the story.
Suspense continues to build as the story progresses. The continuation of the main plot is slowed down by the rituals and duties that Mr. Summers is required to perform before the lottery can officially begin. This part of the story is used to build tension and make the reader anticipate further events. The reader will want to find out the reasons why the characters are so nervous, giving the author an opportunity to introduce the previously mentioned foreshadowing. This means that the reader should feel just as uncomfortable as the characters in the story.
As the lottery results draw closer, the townspeople begin to display