The Lottery and Its Hidden Evil

A lottery is a form of gambling in which a prize, usually money, is awarded to the person who randomly selects winning numbers. Modern lotteries are run by states, private companies, and non-governmental organizations. They may involve a fixed number of prizes or a large jackpot, or both. In the United States, state-sponsored lotteries are popular with the general public and data macau are supported by a wide range of special interest groups. Some state lotteries are devoted to education, while others are focused on raising revenue for specific government purposes. The popularity of lotteries is often correlated with the state’s fiscal health, but in many cases the objective financial circumstances do not appear to have much impact on their acceptance and popularity.

The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a warning about the hidden evil that can lurk in small, seemingly peaceful places. The idyllic setting of the town in which the lottery takes place lulls both the characters and the reader into a false sense of security. The town square is described as a clean, sunny space with well-maintained gardens and a clear sense of community harmony.

When the families begin to assemble for the lottery, Mr. Summers, who represents authority in the story, begins to stir up the papers in a black box. He claims that the box is ancient and that it contains parts of the original lottery paraphernalia that have been lost over time. This ritual is designed to create a sense of tradition and a belief that this lottery has been ongoing for a long time.

As the people continue to gather, they begin to sort themselves into discrete nuclear families. After a while, the children assemble first. Jackson’s use of the word “of course” implies that the children are always the first to assemble for this event, and this reinforces the notion that they are innocent and naive.

After the children have gathered, the rest of the villagers take their turns. As each family member draws, a general sigh is heard when the blank papers are revealed. Bill, Jr. and Nancy all have blank slips, but Tessie’s paper has a black spot on it.

Tessie’s reaction catalyzes readers into questioning the morality of the lottery and its inherent inhumanity. It also serves as a reminder that any individual, regardless of their position within society, can become the victim of collective violence. This theme is a critical aspect of the plot, and it serves to underscore the author’s message that dangerous traditions and customs can persist even when they are inherently unjust or cruel.