Analysis of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson Essay

A charming summer early morning in a quiet little town, is what Shirley Jackson explains in the birth of her short story, “The Lotto (1948 ).” The organization of her story makes it remarkably easy to check out. The appealing images, that Jackson utilizes, sets the state of mind of the day and occasion to come. With the very same images, she thoroughly embellishes the setting, explains the characters, and unfolds the plot; while keeping the reader from preparing for the conflict till it is upon them.


Jackson’s organization of the story is sequential.

After the intro and description of the setting, she describes the series of occasions. The kids gather together first, then the guys. The females sign up with the guys, and they call the kids to settle. As the event begins, the heads of each home go to remove a piece of paper from package. Then, as they finished the preliminary of the lotto, each member of the winning household drew once again. All of these events, so nonchalantly, were leading up to the awful stoning of one community member.


From the image that Shirley describes of the stories setting, the reader can feel the heat of the summer day. One can see and just about odor the flowers and turf, and can hear the children messing around as everyone in the small village gathered together. The guys were talking about tractors and taxes, and the women exchanging gossip while they awaited the day’s annual occasion.

State of mind and Characters

Mr. Summers leads the neighborhood occasion they call the lottery game. Jackson informs us that Mr. Summers, due to the fact that he has time to dedicate, likewise leads the other civic activities such as the square dances and Halloween program. Tessy Hutchinson is late to the gathering, saying that she “tidy forgot what day it was (p. 259).” Mrs. Dunbar states, “I wish they ‘d hurry (p. 261).” Most of the characters are in great spirits; although, they are anxious to proceed with the rest of their day. Absolutely nothing about the state of mind might lead one to believe this story may have an unpleasant ending. Even the relatively bad-tempered Old Man Werner, does not supply any ideas regarding what will occur. He is exceptionally headstrong about the tradition, however. Especially when the Adams attempt to discuss other town’s eliminating the lottery. Even the problems from Tessy, when her other half draws the winning paper, did not alter the state of mind of the story or the villagers.


From the state of mind set in the story, the village’s tradition of the Lotto appears like it might be something satisfying. The conflict happens when Tessy begins to complain about her families unfair choice and after that her own. Then one may begin to think this might not be enjoyable. I questioned what could be so unpleasant they required a lotto to determine the winner, or loser in this case. Is she going to be forced to be the village mortician or have to take care of the town idiot or leper for the year? Then in almost the last sentence, when the villagers surround Tessy and the very first stone struck her in the head, holding her distribute desperately shrieking, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t best (p. 264).” Just then does Jackson make it clear that the reward won from the lotto is fatal.


It is exceptionally challenging to read about a charming community involved in such a terrible custom. Shirley Jackson’s lovely images of the setting and state of mind lures the reader through this shocking story. Overall, I believe Jackson has actually done superb work blogging about such a horrific event. A story most people would not complete if they understood in the starting that someone would be stoned to death by the entire community.

Functions Pointed out
Jackson, S. (1948 ). The Lotto. In X. J. Kennedy, D. M. Kennedy, & & M. F. Muth, The Bedford Guide for College authors (pp. 257-264). Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin.

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