The Lottery Brief Summary
A lottery is an event that was conducted each and every year in this village. This event existed in the past and had been practiced ever since. During the event, all the members of the village gather in a central position then small chips of papers that have been rolled are picked at random from a box. The box used to store these papers is kept by Mr. Summers, who was experienced in most of the steps in the event. Mr. Summers himself conducted the lottery event. The lottery event is considered a ritual event where the people of this particular village make a sacrifice to their creator. On the day of the event, everybody is busy as normal and nobody puts into consideration the fact that the event costs someone’s life.
The lottery was started several years ago. The old man Warner, says that he has participated in a lot of lotteries. He even goes further to state that he has been attending lotteries for the past seventy-seven years. A lot of villages conducted this event. Old Warner is quick to dismiss and condemn the towns and other young people who never conduct this event in their villages. As Mrs. Adams moves in front to pick the piece of paper, she tells the Old Warner that some people had already quit the Lotteries. Old Warner refers to these individuals as “crazy fools”. He goes further and says that those individuals who have neglected the lotteries want to go back to live in the caves. This, therefore, shows that lotteries were started simply because they believed that it made the community stable. “Lottery in June, corn is heavy soon”, the Old Warner said. Lotteries were conducted in the month of June, on the 27th. During this time, the people had not yet harvested any crops from their fields. It is evident therefore that the people believed that lotteries were conducted in order for the village to harvest plenty of foods. He says that if the lotteries are abandoned then people will be forced to eat chickweed and acorns.
As Mrs. Hutchinson is stoned just after picking a piece of paper with the black spot, she shouts saying that the lottery event was unfair. Basically, the lottery was unfair. This event is considered a ritual event yet it cost someone’s life. As discussed in the above segment, lotteries were held because people believed that it would bring blessings to them through increasing their farm products and also making their normal lives stable. Mrs. Hutchinson was stoned to death as a sacrifice for the village and provided the fact that lotteries were held annually meant that each year someone had to die for the sake of the whole village. It is not fair for someone to be killed in order for the whole community to be successful. It is important for each person to bear their own burden and to struggle in order to rip what they will have sowed. This is the reason behind the abandonment of the practice by other villages.
Blindly sticking to the traditional practices that are gone with time is the major theme depicted in the short story. The villagers do not really understand everything about the tradition that was followed in the village as pointed out by Jackson. Nobody is pretty sure about what is to be done but these villagers have only maintained one form of tradition. They are deeply rooted in the traditional and it is given a lot of attention from the members of the village. All the preparations are made faster and everybody looks forward to this event. Everyone is included in the event including children. We have seen how children are used to collecting stones that are later used to stone someone to death. Each year one member of the village losses his or her life in a brutal and bizarre murder, made by their own colleagues. The leader of this whole event is a man who does not have children. Mr. Summers is a pathetic man and follows the traditions blindly. It is worth annoying to see how the villagers respect him a lot.
The old Warner is the oldest man in the village. He argues that he has attended seventy-seven lotteries, meaning he had witnessed the killing of seventy-seven people. He is at the forefront of embracing this culture and condemns all the people who go against or stop practicing the lottery event. He himself is not well conversant with the traditions of the village yet he does nothing in changing them or leaving them aside. As the lottery ends, Mr. Summer tells people to save time in stoning Mrs. Hutchinson. The lottery last for only around two hours then the villagers embark on their normal daily businesses. This tradition makes one develop the urge of killing someone since the whole village is bound by an act of killing people. Ones’ life will be of no importance in the eyes of the fellow villagers.
Jackson, Shaum. The Lottery. New York, NY: The New York Publishers. 2008. Print.