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Transcript of The Lottery
Mr. Summers calls each head man of the household forward to a wooden box, where each selects a slip of paper. Once the men have chosen, Mr. Summers allows everyone to open the paper and see who has a black dot on their paper. When Bill Hutchinson is chosen, his wife starts complaining it is unfair. There are five people in the Hutchinson household, and they must all draw. Mrs. Hutchinson draws the cursed black dotted paper, and, being the victor of the Lottery, is stoned to death.
The story takes place in a small rural village. The action of the story takes place in the square between the post office and the bank.
The historical period is about the early 1900's. We know this because tractors were created in the late 1800's. Furthermore, the drawing is during late June. The time of day is in the mid-morning.
The weather is nice, clear and sunny, with the full warmth of a bright summer day.
The story contains local color, as Shirley Jackson shows by describing what villagers of that time period wore and where they lived. She described their clothing as "drab" and "dull".
The daily life of the characters include going to school, paying taxes, farming, and conversing about tractors.
ood & Atmosphere
In the beginning of the story, the reader receives a strong feeling of excitement, happiness, and even comfort.
The location has the "fresh warmth of a full-summer day, [as] the flowers [bloom] profusely, and the grass [is] richly green" (Jackson 1). Because the setting is very calm, the characters reflect that emotion in their actions during the beginning.
eeting the Characters
Tessie Hutchinson (change)- dynamic character
"Mrs. Hutchinson came hurriedly along the path to the square, her sweater thrown over her shoulders" (Jackson 2).
"'You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!" (Jackson 5).
The Lottery (tradition)- static character
"It was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained" (Jackson 1).
" The villagers kept their distance, leaving a space between themselves and the stool"(Jackson 1).
Old Man Warner
-wants things to stay the same
-other characters respect
-advocate of change
-other characters pity
a. man vs self- INTERNAL
b. man vs. society-EXTERNAL
c. society vs. society-EXTERNAL
"'Clean forgot what day it was,' [Mrs. Hutchinson] said to Mrs. Delacroix, who stood next to her, and they both laughed softly" (Jackson 2).
"'Come on,' [Mrs. Delacroix] said. 'Hurry up'" (Jackson 6).
"The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born. 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" (Jackson 5).
The lottery represents tradition in the town, because it has been a tradition that they have followed for a very long time.
Consider the last names Shirley Jackson uses. "Dickie Delacroix...Mr. Graves...Mr. Adams." Dellacroix, meaning to bring to the cross. Adam, which symbolizes Adam and Eve, brought the fall to mankind. Why do you think Jackson specifically chooses these last names?
"The Lottery" is ironic.
"The black box" that they draw out of represents "tradition."
The slips of paper that they draw from symbolizes how fragile the villagers' way of life is. When Mr. Graves "[drops] all the papers but those [five slips] to the ground, the breeze [catches] them and [lifts] them off", it shows how easily their lifestyle can be disrupted and how insignifcant it really is.
Old Man Warner is another symbol of tradition as he is strongly against the fact that some towns are giving up the lottery. He states that "There's always been a lottery," which shows that the lottery has been around for a long time because he has participated in it seventy-seven times.
Figurative language helps to support the theme of tradition and how they blindly follow it throughout the course of their lives.
Every family takes a slip of
paper from the black box.
A small town of about 300 people
takes part in a lottery yearly. Every family
must participate in this tradition that has taken part for a very long time.
Tessie is chosen
as the lottery
Tessie is stoned to death
Tessie screaming, "It's not fair!" with the townspeople grabbing the stones.
December 14, 1916
August 8, 1965
"So long as you write it away regularly
Tessie Hutchinson (uprising)
The Lottery (tradition)
Think about what you just saw in the video and compare and contrast the topic to
Claimed to be one of the most influential authors of the twentieth century, Jackson is widely acclaimed for her fearsome stories. Her life slogan was to "relish in [her] fear", which she declared was the basis of her literary works. To this day, her writings are considered extremely significant for controversial penmenship and required reading in most high schools.
"Although Mr. Summers and everyone else in the village knew the answer
, it was the business of the official of the lottery to ask such questions formally." (Page 2)
"Although the villagers had
the ritual and lost the original black box, they still
to use stones." (Page 6)
"Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to
even as much
as was represented by the black box." (Page 2)
There is also a lot of suspense. The whole story exudes an acute awareness of uneasiness, which dramatically heightens towards the climax.
did they use to choose the lottery winner?