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The Lottery

Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery opens in the beautiful morning of the 27th day of June in a town inhabited by approximately three hundred people. The villagers, along with their children who had just been picking stones, gathered in the town square for the much awaited “lottery”. The said affair, administered by Mr. Summers, had been observed like a tradition. The original paraphernalia had been significant as it was as old as the Old Man Warmer, believing that the official box being used is made out of the remains of the original, the one utilized by the first inhabitants.

The story progresses as Mr. Summers, the official of the lottery and was assisted by Mr. Graves, declared the lottery open and summoned all the names of the heads of the families along with the other men of the village. After making sure that all the villagers were present in the town square, he started calling their names one after another. Each man took a slip of paper out of the box as they were called. Apparently, the marked slip – the parcel that had a black spot on it, fell in Bill Hutchinson’s hands.

Another “draw” was made, this time within the Hutchinson family. Bill, his wife Tessie and their kids Bill Jr. , Nancy and little Dave (with the help of Mr. Graves), took their own slip of paper from the box. Later, Tessie, who had been in outrage since the “luck” of the lottery was called in their house, had picked out the marked piece. At that very moment, all the men, women and children of the village, including her husband and children, with stones in their hands, surrounded her. The main ritual of “stoning” Tessie to death marked the end of the story.

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