The Lottery and Other Stories

why do the people do the lottery? what does the lottery mean to the villagers? in spite of its importance to them, what attitude toward the lottery is repeatedly revealed throughout the story?


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Last updated by katie g #491817
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The people still do the lottery out of a twisted sense of tradition. They also enact human nature's morbid fascination with hurting others and witnessing pain.

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To the villagers, the lottery was not only a sense of tradition, but also a sacrifice. In the story Old man Warner says "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon." He is implying that the Lottery brings heavy (or alot) of corn. This idea comes from the Old Testament called the "Ritual of the Scapegoat." Every year Hebrews would sacrafice two "Scapegoats". The first would be as a sacrafice to the Lord and the other was to atone for the peoples sins. The person sacraficed in the Lottery, in this case Tessie, was like the second scapegoat. She atoned for the townsfolk sins so the corn would come for the town. You could tell that many of the villagers where uneasy about the lottery, at the beginning the stayed away from the black box, and only Old man Warner stood up for it when there was talk of banning it

Hope that helps!