A Review of Shirley Jackson’s Lottery


Lottery is a form of gambling that involves drawing numbers or symbols to determine the winner of a prize. It is common in many states and countries, although it is illegal in some places. The lottery is often used as a method of raising funds for public projects, and it has an appeal to the public because it is simple to organize and easy to play. It is also a popular way to raise money for private businesses. However, the lottery is not without controversy. In colonial America, for example, the lottery was tangled up in the slave trade in unpredictable ways. George Washington managed a lottery whose prizes included human beings, and one formerly enslaved man purchased his freedom through a lottery winning and went on to foment a slave rebellion. The Continental Congress established a lottery to raise funds for the Revolutionary War, but it was largely unsuccessful. In the United States, private lottery games were very popular and played a role in the development of American institutions, including colleges. Lotteries were a major source of revenue in colonial America, and were used to finance public works, such as roads, canals, and churches. In addition, the lottery was a key source of money for the American colonies during the French and Indian Wars.

Lotteries may be regulated by state laws or federal law, and prizes are commonly awarded in the form of cash. However, there are other types of prizes that can be awarded. For instance, some lotteries allow the winners to choose between a lump sum payment and an annuity. The annuity option is typically more lucrative for the promoter, but some winners choose a lump sum payout because it allows them to avoid paying income tax.

The story in Shirley Jackson’s short story, Lottery, takes place in a remote village where the majority of villagers practice the ritual of drawing numbers for the lottery every year. It seems like there is no conflict at the beginning of the story, as the villagers are gathered in unison to participate in the lottery. However, there is a subtle tension as some villagers are hesitant to participate in the lottery due to concerns over morality.

The author uses several methods of characterization to establish the characters’ personalities. These include the setting, actions, and general behavior of each character. The setting is important because it creates a sense of realism and makes the reader feel as though they are in the small town. The actions and general behavior of the villagers help to define the characters, such as Mrs. Delacroix’s action of picking up a big rock, which shows that she is determined and quick-tempered. These methods of characterization are useful in establishing the characters’ personalities and emotions, which helps the reader understand their motivations in the story. The anecdotes that the characters tell about their pasts are also important in establishing their character. They show the readers that the people in this village have many different philosophies and viewpoints.