Paper #1: Central Idea
January 28, 2016
Word Count: 515
In Shirley Jackson’s short story, The Lottery, you automatically begin to wonder what the “lottery” actually consists of. The story starts off on a nice day in June, June 27th to be exact. The kids are running around and the men and women are beginning to gather and wait for the lottery to take place. After everyone gathers, Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves join the rest of the town with the wooden, black box. Inside the black box are little sheets of paper, and on one sheet there is a black dot made with charcoal. One by one the men from each family come up to draw a slip of paper, and once every family has one piece, everyone opens it at the same ...view middle of the document...
She then moves into the center and awaits her fait as the town slowly approaches her with stones in their hands. After reading this story I conclude that the central idea is related to the human behavior during the time period of Nazi’s and World War II.
What makes me come to the conclusion that human behavior during the time period of WWII is the central idea is because of some of the traditions that the lottery consists of. Men were obviously superior. They were the ones to go and draw the slips of paper unless there were extraordinary circumstances like the Dunbar family. Mrs. Dunbar was allowed to draw for Mr. Dunbar because he was at home with a broken leg (Jackson 424). They used the same black box for years. The box was “no longer completely black, but splintered badly alone one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained” (Jackson 423). Throughout the story, when Mrs. Hutchinson is introduced, you can already tell that something isn’t right with her. She was late to the lottery and tried to make it seem as if it wasn’t a big deal. Mrs. Hutchinson felt uncomfortable with the fact that her life was in someone else’s hands. She started making up excuses like, “I think we need to start over.” Or “I tell you it wasn’t fair. You didn’t give him time enough to choose” (Jackson 427). She even tried to make her other daughter be a part of the drawing, even though she was married and had her own family (Jackson 426). Tessie Hutchinson was trying to make her chances of drawing that slip of paper with the black dot on it slimmer. But unfortunately she was the one chosen. Not by choice, but by chance.
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery”. Stories for Further Reading. Print.