A Review of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

The lottery is a form of gambling in which people are given the chance to win money or prizes by drawing numbers. In the United States, state governments operate lotteries and use the profits for public services and education. In addition to the official national lotteries, many private businesses also sell tickets. These retailers include convenience stores, gas stations, churches and fraternal organizations, restaurants and bars, and newsstands. In 2003, according to the NASPL Web site, nearly 186,000 retailers were selling tickets nationwide. Approximately three-fourths of them offer online services. The lottery industry is also booming in Canada, where the Canadian National Lottery has been in operation since 1976.

The story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a critique of blind devotion to traditions that may cause harm. It shows that we should be able to question authority and protest when something is wrong. Moreover, it shows that just because something is old and widely practiced does not mean that it must continue to be so. Tessie Hutchinson’s refusal to stop the lottery ritual is a good example of this point.

Lotteries have been used in the past to determine ownership or other rights. For example, Roman emperors used them to give away land and slaves. They were also used in colonial America to raise funds for towns, wars, and public-works projects. Today, a lottery is a popular way for state governments and charitable organizations to raise money. However, the lottery is not without its problems. For one, it can be addictive. In addition, the winnings are rarely large enough to improve someone’s quality of life. In fact, some winners find that they have ruined their lives by winning the jackpot.

There are many different themes in the story The Lottery. One is the idea that family matters. It is important to have a strong bond with your family and support each other through hard times. Another theme is the role of tradition in a community. The story illustrates that tradition can be harmful, especially when it is inflicted on people who do not want to change.

The story also criticizes democracy. It shows that we must be able to question the decisions of others and that people should not just follow a crowd. Lastly, it is an example of the dangers of scapegoating. This can be seen in the actions of the villagers in the story, as well as other real-life events, such as mass incarceration, racial profiling, and hate crimes against Muslims after 9/11. The Lottery is a reminder that evil can exist in even small, peaceful-looking places. This is a critical lesson for all of us to learn. The lottery is a great example of how easily a person can be victimized by a culture that does not value diversity or freedom. This story should encourage everyone to reevaluate the traditions that they hold dear and to speak up when those traditions are not serving the common good.