What was the point of the Lottery by Shirley Jackson?

Asked By: Maricielo Heydenblut | Last Updated: 25th April, 2020
Category: family and relationships bereavement
4.3/5 (1,281 Views . 35 Votes)
An author's purpose in writing a story is generally expressed in the theme. In this case, Shirley Jackson wrote "The Lottery" in order to express the theme of mindless adherence to tradition. Let's face it. The only reason this town continues to conduct a lottery is because they've always done it.

Click to see full answer


Similarly, what is the main message of the lottery?

The primary message of Shirley Jackson's celebrated short story "The Lottery" concerns the dangers of blindly following traditions. In the story, the entire community gathers in the town square to participate in the annual lottery.

Also, how does Shirley Jackson feel about the lottery? Shirley Jackson's attitude towards the brutal, uncivilized tradition of the lottery in the small New England village is incriminating and negative. Overall, Jackson's emphasis towards the ignorance and ritualistic nature of the villagers is negative and incriminating.

Similarly one may ask, why is the lottery important to the villagers?

The elaborate ritual of the lottery is designed so that all villagers have the same chance of becoming the victim—even children are at risk. Each year, someone new is chosen and killed, and no family is safe. What makes “The Lottery” so chilling is the swiftness with which the villagers turn against the victim.

What is the purpose of the lottery in 1984?

The Lottery was a veiled symbol of hope. The payouts were never so big as to make any difference, and any grandiose payout that was made was usually to some non-real winner. But the lottery served the purpose of giving the proles something to look forward to in the malaise of daily work and drudgery.

31 Related Question Answers Found

How does Old Man Warner feel about the lottery?

Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, has participated in seventy-seven lotteries and is a staunch advocate for keeping things exactly the way they are. He believes, illogically, that the people who want to stop holding lotteries will soon want to live in caves, as though only the lottery keeps society stable.

What is the moral lesson of the lottery?

The moral of The Lottery is that people will blindly follow a tradition without belief.

What is the irony in the lottery?

In satirical Shirley Jackson's lottery Shirley Jackson's "lottery" in the story, irony is the basic theme used throughout the story. The environment was expressed as "a sunny day", but eventually the housewife became a cruel death (715). Basically two people running this town, Graves and Summers have ironic names.

What is the climax in the lottery?

Answer and Explanation:
The climax in ''The Lottery'' by Shirley Jackson is that the person selected by the lottery is not rewarded, but rather is stoned to death by the

What is the main conflict in the lottery?


The central conflict in “The Lottery” is the external conflict of person vs. society, because it is the traditions of the village that cause Tessie Hutchinson to be killed, and one other person a year before her.

What is the theme in the lottery?

The main themes in “The Lottery” are the vulnerability of the individual, the importance of questioning tradition, and the relationship between civilization and violence. The vulnerability of the individual: Given the structure of the annual lottery, each individual townsperson is defenseless against the larger group.

What is the symbolism of the lottery?

The lottery represents any action, behavior, or idea that is passed down from one generation to the next that's accepted and followed unquestioningly, no matter how illogical, bizarre, or cruel. The lottery has been taking place in the village for as long as anyone can remember.

Why is Mrs Hutchinson upset in the lottery?

Mrs. Hutchinson almost misses the lottery. She complains that she almost forgot what day it was. The tradition is the reason that Old Man Warner gives for keeping the lottery around.

What is the mood of the lottery?

Shortly after the lottery commences, the peaceful setting seems menacing and ominous. As the lottery gets underway, the mood of the story also becomes anxious and unsettling. When Tessie Hutchinson's name is called, the mood shifts to dreadful and violent as the community members prepare to stone her to death.

What does lottery mean in the story?


The story describes a fictional small town in contemporary America, which observes an annual rite known as "the lottery", in which a member of the community is selected by chance to be stoned. It is implied in the story that the lottery is practiced to ensure the community's continued well being.

Why was stoning used in the lottery?

Shirley Jackson uses the black box and the stones as symbols to emphasize that a cold and inhumane loss of respect for human life comes as a result of mechanically carrying out rituals. The black box is an object that represents how the villagers have become entranced in the gruesome tradition of stoning people.

Why was Tessie late at the gathering to hold the lottery?

Why was Tessie late to arrive at the gathering to hold the lottery? She started to leave town to protest the lottery. She forgot what day it was. She wasn't late--she was the first to arrive.

What is the author's attitude towards the lottery?

The writer's attitude towards the lottery is when a person pulls the paper out of the black box and if there is black dot on it that person must be stoned.

What traditions does the lottery represent?

In a broad, general sense, the lottery system from the story represents old traditions that people blindly follow for the sake of following tradition. The people in the story do the lottery and the death by stoning because that's what they have always done.

Where did the lottery take place?


Answer and Explanation: The Lottery takes place in New England, specifically a small community with about 300 people. It is a rural village with a tight-knit social circle.

How does Jackson start to foreshadow the ending in paragraphs 2 and 3?

How does Jackson start to foreshadow the ending in paragraphs 2 and 3? Jackson starts to foreshadow the climax by creating some anticipation with the children and when the black box was pulled out.

How does Tessie first view the lottery?

Tessie Hutchinson - The unlucky loser of the lottery. She is excited about the lottery and fully willing to participate every year, but when her family's name is drawn, she protests that the lottery isn't fair. Tessie arrives at the village square late because she forgot what day it was.