The Lottery by Shirley Jackson


The lottery is a form of gambling that involves drawing numbers for a chance to win money or prizes. Prizes can range from small items to large cash amounts. Some lotteries offer a percentage of their profits to charity. In the United States, state governments run lotteries. Some use the proceeds to fund education, road projects, and public services. Others use them to raise revenue for general purposes. People who play the lottery spend billions of dollars each year. Despite the fact that winning is rare, people continue to play the lottery hoping that they will one day be the lucky winner.

The history of the lottery is long and varied. It dates back to ancient times. The Old Testament has Moses instructed to take a census and divide land by lot, while Roman emperors used the lottery to give away property and slaves. The game was also popular at dinner entertainments in the late-Roman period, with a lottery-like activity known as apophoreta. In the early post-World War II period, some states introduced lotteries in order to expand their social safety net without increasing tax rates on the middle and working classes.

Shirley Jackson’s story The Lottery takes place in a rural American village. This setting shows how much tradition can control our lives and prevent us from thinking rationally. The story also points out that women are not allowed to win the lottery. This is due to the fact that men are considered the breadwinners in this society. Consequently, women are seen as secondary to men.

This is not the only issue that Shirley Jackson touches on in this short story. The characterization of the characters is another important aspect that this story explores. This is done through a number of methods, including actions and general behavior. For example, Mrs. Delacroix is characterized by her action of picking up a stone, which expresses her determination and quick temper. This makes her an interesting character to follow and understand in this story.

The overall theme of this short story is that the lottery is a dangerous and addictive activity that is detrimental to people’s health. The odds of winning are very low, and those who do win often go bankrupt in a few years. It is best to stay away from the lottery and use the money you would have spent on tickets for other purposes, such as building an emergency fund or paying off credit card debt. This way, you will have a better chance of not losing your hard-earned money. Americans spend over $80 billion on the lottery each year, and it is best to think twice before buying a ticket.