"The Lottery"

Shirley Jackson (1919-65) 
Photo Credit: Lawrence J. Hyman 
"The number of people who expected Mrs. Hutchinson to win a Bendix washer would amaze you." -- Shirley Jackson re: "The Lottery"
Questions for Group Discussion and Journal
  1.  What is the lottery for?  (Hint: "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon," says Old Man Warner.)  What are the community's  attitudes toward tradition?
  1. Can you try to divide the story into three parts: the beginning, the middle and the end?  How does each part function?  Does the ending of the story surprise you a lot?  Does the story provide clues (or foreshadowing) for the ending?

  3. What do you know about the characters?  Is there any significance in the choice of their names?

  5. From what point-of-view does the narrator tell the story?  When, or in which year, does the story take place?  Can we tell whether it is in the present, or in the past?  Is the village a real one?  What is the point of using an ancient rite as the subject matter of a modern story?  
References & Further Questions: