Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Lottery


Category: Gothic

Author: Shirley Jackson

Summary: When Tessie Hutchinson draws the unlucky token and objects that “It wasn’t fair,” the townspeople urge her to be a good sport and accept her prize. All the townspeople join in the stoning, even her own children. The idea of the lottery itself refers back to a primitive fertility custom of scapegoating; that is, choosing one member of the community to be sacrificed to appease the gods and assure a good crop. What makes the story so disturbing is that it does not take place in a primitive society in the distant past but rather in America in the 20th century.

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