The Lottery │ Four Levels │ Summary │ English │ Shirley Jackson

The Lottery

The Lottery │ Shirley Jackson
- Shirley Jackson

Literal Comprehension:

On the morning of June 27 of a recent year, the 300 villagers of an American village prepare for the annual lottery in a mood of excitement. The tradition of the lottery is so old that some of the rituals have been forgotten and some have been changed. Its basic purpose is entirely unremembered, but residents are present to take part in it.

The civic-minded Mr. Summers has been sworn in and then he hands a piece of paper to the head of each family. Once the men have chosen, Mr. Summers allows everyone to open the paper and see who's been selected.

When it is discovered the Hutchinson family has drawn the marked slip, each member of the family-Bill, Tessie, and the children is given another slip. Silence prevails as suspense hovers over the proceedings.

After helplessly protesting the unfairness of the first drawing, Tessie finds that she holds the marked slip. Set in a clear space, desperately afraid, she feels the first pebbles hitting her as people, holding stones, push forward, and they were upon her. The winner is stoned to death by her fellow townsmen. Tess protests in rain as the villagers attack her.


On a basic level, "The Lottery" asks us to think about the rituals and traditions that we unthinkingly follow as a member of society. This is due to historic construction. Human beings are fearful creatures. It makes them selfish and society wrongly allocates scapegoats to bear the sins of the community.

Mainly, this essay represents the false idea confidently of the scapegoat as someone who is blamed for the evils of a society and banished to expel sin and allow for renewal.

Critical Thinking:

This text is so beautifully constructed that each and every character has a significant role. Not only this, even each word is worth reading in the text.

However, I am not totally convinced and have some critical questions:

  • How can the villagers go back to work after executing an innocent woman by stoning?

  • How can they become heartless and happy to murder their own family?

  • What might they do if all the women became endangered from their community?

  • How is it possible to grow heavy crops by executing someone?


After reading this story I realized that we shouldn't take part in any lottery. A lottery is taken as a shortcut to prosperity by many people. But I don't believe in that because without any effort, we can't be really happy with the result.

Similarly, I will not follow any brutal traditions of my society at any cost. Instead of being a slave to the blind traditions, I will try to vanish such unscientific beliefs and think logically as well as critically so that it will be good for everyone.

-- 𓐴𓐴𓐴 --

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