How to Analyze the Short Story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson


A lottery is a game in which people try to win a prize by drawing numbers. The prize is usually money. Lotteries are a form of gambling and are often regulated by governments. They can be run by private companies or by non-profit organizations. Some states use the lottery to raise money for public projects, such as schools, roads, and hospitals. Others use it to promote tourism and boost employment.

Lottery is an important part of the history of human civilization, and it has been used for many purposes throughout the ages. It is a common part of the culture of many countries. It is a popular way to distribute wealth, especially among the poor. The lottery is also a source of entertainment for many people. It is not uncommon to see lottery games on television or the radio. The first lottery was recorded in the 15th century. It was used by various towns to raise money for town fortifications and to help the poor.

In the story “The Lottery,” the author Shirley Jackson writes about a small village where a lottery is held every year. The villagers do not know why they hold the lottery, but they follow it out of tradition. The winner of the lottery is selected by a man who draws a piece of paper. The man will then stone the woman to death. The story shows the dark side of human nature. The story is a warning about following tradition blindly.

The first step in analyzing this short story is understanding the plot. Then you can focus on the central theme of the story. The main themes of the story are tradition, societal conformity, and the darker aspects of human nature. Jackson develops these themes throughout the story through dialogue and actions of the characters.

Another way to understand the story is by looking at how the characters feel about their actions. The characters in the story are unhappy with their choices. They want to change their lives, but they can’t because of their beliefs.

When the story was published in 1948, just after World War II and before the Cold War, readers speculated that it was an allegory for McCarthyism or the Holocaust. Since then, it has been a regular reference in discussions of some social development or troubling trend. Some of these include the popularity of a certain political leader, such as Donald Trump; or the perceived rise in censorship.

The underlying message of the story is that it is dangerous to follow outdated traditions, especially if they involve violence. The story illustrates how one person’s bad choice can affect the lives of those around them. The story is also a commentary on the hypocrisy of human behavior. Jackson uses ordinary, everyday settings to show the audience how deceitful and evil humans can be. This technique helps to make the events more shocking and compelling. It also makes the reader reflect on their own attitudes and beliefs.