“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson Short Stories

“The Lottery” is a short story written by Shirley Jackson. It was first published in 1948 and has since become a classic in American literature. The story is set in a small, seemingly ordinary town, where the townspeople gather for an annual event known as “the lottery.”

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson Short Stories
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson Short Stories

In the story, the townspeople assemble in the town square on a sunny summer day. Families stand together, and the townsfolk engage in casual conversation while children gather stones. The lottery is conducted by Mr. Summers, who is assisted by Mr. Graves. The process appears routine, but there’s an air of tension and unease among the townspeople.

As the lottery begins, each head of household is called forward to draw a slip of paper from the black box. The townspeople nervously open their slips, and tension mounts as they check for a black dot. Tessie Hutchinson, a wife and mother of three, ultimately draws the marked slip. She protests, claiming the lottery wasn’t fair, but the townspeople quickly turn on her. In a shocking climax, the townspeople stone Tessie to death as part of their annual ritual.

“The Lottery” is a powerful and thought-provoking story that explores themes of tradition, conformity, and the dark side of human nature. It serves as a chilling commentary on the dangers of blindly following tradition and the potential for cruelty within even the most seemingly ordinary communities. Shirley Jackson’s story continues to captivate and disturb readers with its haunting portrayal of a society’s descent into violence in the name of tradition.

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