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Transcript of The Lottery
blindly follows pointless tradition
by Shirley Jackson
Meet the characters
“her sweater thrown over her shoulders” (3) -indirect
“‘There’s Don and Eva...make them take their chance!’” (7) -indirect (selfish)
Tessie Hutchinson vs. tradition
man vs. society
people following the tradition ambush her
"she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her" (9)
Tessie Hutchinson vs. herself
man vs. self
unable to accept her fate and protests
“It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (9)
Tradition is unstoppable even if it’s pointless; people don’t want to resist it so they just accept it.
About the Author
Tradition called “The Lottery”
Chosen family draws from the black box; person who draws paper with black dot wins
Villagers blindly following tradition
Even children participate: "The children had stones already. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles." (9)
Tessie Hutchinson wins
Winner is stoned to death
Born: December 14, 1916 in San Francisco, CA
Died: August 8, 1965 in North Bennington, VT
(48 years old)
Married to Stanley Edgar Hyman
Genre: Horror & mystery
About the Author
Author's Relevance to "The Lottery"
North Bennington may represent the village of the story
influence from WWII and Holocaust
verbally abused by mother
Village gathers for lottery
children collect rocks
Tessie arrives late
Mr. Summers calls families to draw
Bill Hutchinson’s family gets chosen
Tessie "wins" the lottery
Tessie is stoned to death
Tessie protests; the village distributes the stones amongst themselves
Old Man Warner
Point of View
Written in omniscient objective
“fly on a wall”
narrator doesn’t know thoughts/feelings of characters
“Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting only the smoothest and roundest stones.”
“small rural village”
daily life: everyone works, comes home to participate in the lottery, and finishes in time for lunch
the lottery- custom
“they greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip” (1) -mannerism
“the women [wore] faded house dresses and sweaters” (1) -dress
“Anybody ain’t here?” (4) -speech
Mood and Atmosphere
Feeling at the beginning of the story:
"They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner...their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed. The women... greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join their husbands. Soon the women, standing by their husbands, began to call to their children, and the children came reluctantly" (1)
10 am in the morning
“school was recently over” (1)
"The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." (1)
clear and sunny
Effect of the setting
contrasts to the character’s behaviors
creates situational irony
“‘Pack of crazy fools,” he said. ‘Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them… There’s always been a lottery’” (6).
Title relates to the theme?
The lottery was conducted—as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program—by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities." (1)
He was a round-faced, jovial man” (1) -indirect
“‘Pack of crazy fools’” (5) -indirect
“The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green” (1).
doesn't support theme
“he dropped all the papers... where the breeze caught them and lifted them off” (7).
dropped papers represent lottery losers
part of the lottery tradition
second round of lottery
does not support theme
“the stool was put in the center of the square and Mr. Summers set the black box down on it” (2).
represents custom of the lottery
doesn't support theme
“[The black box was] splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained” (2).
worn-out box represents outdated tradition
village follows tradition though most of it has been forgotten
reluctant to replace box that was part of tradition
Protagonist: Tessie Hutchinson
originally eager about lottery “came hurriedly...to the square” (3)
opposes lottery when chosen
forgetful [of the lottery] “Clean forgot what day it was” (3)
self-preservation “It wasn’t fair!” (7)
Old Man Warner represents tradition
(human form of tradition)
still supports lottery after 77 years “Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery” (6)
conformist (supports tradition stubbornly)
Compare and Contrast
Tessie Hutchinson & Old Man Warner
live in the village
protests against lottery
"It wasn't fair!" (7)
Old Man Warner
"Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery" (6)
blindly follows lottery
Created by Connie Kuang, Helen Chang, Nancy Pan, Jennifer Chiang, and Neel Narvekar- Period 2
1) Would Old Man Warner have changed his opinion about the lottery if he was picked? Why or why not?
2) Do you think the lottery is unfair? Why or why not?