The Lottery and Other Stories

The Lottery and Other Stories Summary and Analysis of Epilogue

The epilogue consists of a few stanzas from “James Harris, The Daemon Lover,” Child Ballad No. 243. In the first stanza, a woman arrives upon a beautiful ship, though she can see no crew members. Next, as she sails away with her male companion, his mood darkens. Shortly thereafter, in the third stanza, the woman notices her companion’s cloven foot. The fourth stanza depicts the companion ordering her to stop crying, promising to take her to Italy. In the next stanza, the woman asks her companion about the distant hills in the horizon, but he answers that she will never see those hills of heaven. The companion finally reveals his true motive in the sixth stanza. The woman spots barren mountains, and her companion reveals that they are heading to the mountains of hell. In the last stanza, the companion, presumably James Harris, the Demon Lover, sinks the ship and drowns both of them.


Jackson's recurring “James Harris” character commonly seduces lonely or unhappy women from their rightful homes and leads them to their own destruction, although they join him willingly and are complicit in their own demise.