The Lottery

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 Publication date: June 26, 1948

 Genre: Short story

 Author: Shirley Jackson

 Сharacters: Bill and Tessie Hutchinson, Mr. Summers, Mr. Graves.

 Based on: The outdated traditions and beliefs in rural areas.

 Symbols: Mob mentality, blind following of traditions, black wooden box.

 Influence: The commonplace violence and inhumanity in people's everyday lives.

 Plot: The story describes the preparation for the lottery held in a small village that's supposed to increase crop yield. First, the lottery identifies the family and then the family member, who the villagers later stone to death. Despite her protestations of the unfairness of the lottery, Tessie Hutchinson becomes the victim of the lottery in the story. 

 Interesting facts:

 The story was banned in some African states, still using stoning as punishment.

 The first readers wanted to know the name of the village the story took place in to witness the sacrifice.

 "The Lottery" inspired two film adaptations, a graphic novel, and influenced some video games and music videos.

 Some critics believe that every name in the story, such as Graves or Delacroix, has a deep significance.

 The story was reprinted in The New Yorker on the same day, July 27, 2020.


 "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon."

 "There's always been a lottery."

 "It's not the way it used to be... people ain't the way they used to be."

 "Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones."

 "It isn't fair, it isn't right."

 Why this topic is important: The story highlights how a community focused on following tradition can commit atrocities, especially when mob mentality kicks in. It's still relevant, considering the proliferation of fake news, "cancel culture", and online flame wars. 

Any English or Literature class is full of writing assignments that can drive anyone crazy. Luckily, you don't have to rack your brain or skulk around campus in search of ideas for your essay about The Lottery. You can use our collection of free essay examples instead. 

We've collected enough The Lottery essay examples to give you a solid understanding of writing opportunities and inspire you to complete your assignment. But please remember that our free essays are only here to help you beat procrastination and writer's block. Every essay about The Lottery in our database is a student submission, so you should never turn it in for grading under your name. But you can borrow quotes, ideas, and analysis, especially if you cite the essay about The Lottery as a source. 

Essay Topics for The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

To help you kickstart the writing process, we've come up with a few exciting The Lottery essay topics suitable for a variety of classes and assignments:

  1. The intertwining of the violence and mob mentality themes in "The Lottery"
  2. The role of an individual and gender in "The Lottery"
  3. The effectiveness of foreshadowing for creating suspense in "The Lottery"
  4. Analysis of the use of scenery and imagery in "The Lottery"
  5. The depiction of tradition and change in "The Lottery"
  6. The relevance of "The Lottery" in modern days
  7. The most memorable symbolism used in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
  8. Analyzing the theme of fear in "The Lottery"
  9. The themes of control and power in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"
  10. The relationship between morality and sacrifice in "The Lottery"

Any of the topics above or their mix will work well for your essay about The Lottery, so feel free to use them.

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