"The Lottery"- A story of senseless killing, this essay is about the short story by Kate Chopin where a young woman gets stoned to death as e result of a stupid custom.

Essay by gjergji84 November 2002

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"The Lottery"- A story of senseless killing

Human life is the most precious value on earth and for this reason, with nowadays laws you get big punishments if you harm somebody's life or in the worst case take it away. The story " The Lottery", written by Shirley Jackson, after World War II is set in a small village of 300 inhabitants where every 2nd of June an unusual lottery takes place. Usually we expect the winner to get advantages out of his "good luck" in winning the lottery but here the " winner" gets stoned to death. The main theme of "The Lottery" is senseless killing.

In the story, every year the people gather in the center of the village and participate in a traditional custom whose origins aren't clear. In fact somebody is put in the center of the village and is stoned to death. This seems a bit like ancient greek tragedy because to get good things people had to make sacrifices to the gods and as Old Man Warner says they should get good corn after having stoned somebody to death.

Actually the only one who believes it is Old Man Warner, and for all the others the act of killing hasn't really any meaning, they just do it because they are supposed to and also because they are used to this strange custom. Something very well pointed out in the story is the insensitivity of the people in the village, which is very well shown when little Davy Hutchinson throws stones to his mother. Another trait of those people is a lack of self-confidence, because when the women talk between themselves they don't think of the lottery as a good thing ("Seems like there is no time between the lotteries anymore" Mrs. Delacroix said to...