The Question and Answer section for The Lottery and Other Stories is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
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The lottery is part of a long forgotten tradition. Old Man Warner gives us a hint when he recites the saying, "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon." We can speculate the original lottery had something to do with sacrificing someone for good crops....
The fact that someone gets pelted to death by stones because of a tradition that nobody could explain is pretty heinous. Friends and neighbours kill each other for a tradition that no longer has a meaning.