The Lottery Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 8 January 2017

The Lottery

Have you ever imagined being killed for winning a lottery? In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the author does an outstanding job describing the main character, the plot, and the theme. The character Tessie Hutchinson in this story makes the reader feel as if he or she is a part of the plot. Additionally, the plot of this story is very surprising and unexpected. Jackson does a really great job writing the story, and in the end it is very easy to think about a theme. Certainly, “The Lottery” is a perfect example of a story combining an interesting plot, good characterization, and a clear theme.

Tessie Hutchinson starts out being a regular citizen of the village and ends up being the main character; ultimately, she is killed. First, she is described as: “an old house woman.” This tells the reader that she probably works all day and is very tired. Next, she nearly forgets about the lottery and she arrives late. This tells us that she is exhausted and doesn’t really care about the lottery. In the end, she “wins” the lottery as Mr. Summers announces: “It’s Tessie!” Winning the lottery means being killed, and this is exactly what happens to Tessie. The subtle increasing of the level of importance of Tessie throughout the story made it more interesting to read.

The plot of this story was surprising and unexpected at the same time. In the beginning, the scene is described as: “Clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day.” Ironically, this makes the reader think this is going to be a positive story. Later, we shockingly find out that: “Someone’s life is going to be over.” This clearly tells us that someone is going to die in this story. Finally, in the end Tessie screams: “It’s not fair, it isn’t right!” Lastly, the story ends and we then know that Tessie has been killed. These three significant changes that transpire during the plot make it a more compelling story.

The theme of this story is to never relax until you are completely safe. A good example is Tessie. For her, it starts out being: “a normal summer morning.” Then, throughout the story her predicament completely changes. Later on, she nearly forgets about the lottery and she arrives late. Her husband asks: “Why were you late?” and she simply says that she had forgot. Lastly, she finds out that she is the winner of the lottery as Mr. Summers says: “It’s Tessie.” This means that she is the one that is going to be killed out of all the citizens of the village. After reading this story, there is one more thing to learn. This is the theme, life lesson, or moral that has just been outlined.

In this story, Shirley Jackson does an outstanding job of having an interesting plot, using characterization, and including a clear theme. I really enjoyed reading this story because it was different from most stories I have read before. I like this type of story because the surprise in the end is not expected and you don’t understand it until you finish reading the whole story. This is a fine example of experiencing a result that you definitely didn’t expect. So now, be careful the next time you take part in a lottery!

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 8 January 2017

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