I thought this story was kind of different because there really wasn't a gothic setting. Maybe the town was a gothic setting but if that is true then there wasn't a visitor.
Why is this callled "The Lottery" when really the only reason everyone gathers is to see who will be stoned that year?
i think the Lottery takes place in a little place not really known
What is the most important thing about a black box? It was a main symbol in the Village but what is the importance of it?
it seems like it took place in the 1800s or 1900s. our time period would never practice something like this.
I think that the Lottery takes place in a setting similar to the Village. It's a small community and they seem isolated from the other towns.
I think that the author didn't just tell us so that it is something that you can expand upon by imagining what you think about it
I agree with Dana, it didn't seem very gothic. It started out very happy and bright. It was a strange story but it was definitely very different from the other stories we have read so far.
Why do you think that Jackson started the story off with a non gothic like setting? "The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." Did this make the ending more shocking?
Dana--I didn't really understand how this story was considered a gothic story either. How do you guys think it could be one?
I think the kids represent the regualr town and how innocent they were.
Jake- The black box represents the dark secrets in their town. They keep having it because it is tradition and they wouldn't get rid of it because it is the only way that they know how to get rid of all the things they are repressing.
Dana- I think the town is kinda a gothic setting. it kinda represents the uncanny because its so innocent, its creepy.
Jake- I think that the black box was the one Gothic setting in this story because there really isn't any Gothic house or any one person that was Gothic.
i think she started it this way because she wanted to create an uncanny situation where the setting is familiar but the behavior of the people is unfamiliar. however, i wondered why she chose june 27th for the day of the lottery. but i think it did make it more unnatural in a way, because you expect something completely innocent and it turns out to be a sadistic event that is pretty creepy and disturbing.
Morgan,The reason the story is called the lottery is because there is a drawing to see who will be stone which is also known as a lottery
I think the kids represent innocence in this story. But then at the same time, it seems like their parents taught them that this kind of think is okay. I think this practice is a relief of sins and/or to let anything bad go and let it out on other people.
Dana: I agree with you but there was never any setting given, aside from the coal place. So it was different in the fact that it was mainly dialog
i think its kinda ironic that its called the lottery because normally when you win the lottery you are happy because you just came into some money. but in this story the lottery is dreaded and instead of gaining something you are losing something... your life.
Is the author forshadowing when she says "Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example."?
The only thing that was even remotely gothic was like the fact that there are secrets and like somebody dies, other then that there are no big scary houses and visitors and guests or anything at all :(
Why do you think there was a Lottery to see who would get stoned to death at the end? And why did the villagers find it so important to keep the Lotteries going?
I think the story takes place in a small town in the middle of nowhere.
Morgan- It's called The Lottery because a lottery is just a drawing of names for a certain prize or consequence in this situation. The lottery is who is to be stoned to death. Lotteries don't always have to have a positive outcome.
I agree with Jeff. This society has a big uncanny. It seems as if this town is completely normal, but then we find out things that they do are completely abnormal and awful.
I think they think by sacrificing her they will be forgiven of their sins and it will start off a new year for them free from sin. Also a way to get out their feelings or feel relived.
i think the lottery takes place in the early years of america somewhere in the 'wild west' in a small town. i think the author doesnt say exactly where the town is so that it can apply to everyone and point out a flaw in humanity. i think this author is trying to show a subconscious animal instinct where we are governed by fear, and we naturally go with the group. Even if the group is doing something an outsider would label insane.
Why are all the people so calm throughout the entire drawing? They were like joking around and being all light hearted until Tessie got it and then they were like excited to kill her, even her son goot stones. This is such a sick-minded town with crazy evil people who throw stones at each other once a year!
i think it is titled 'the lottery' because of the way the names are drawn.
Rachel, I kinda have to disagree that the kids represent innocince in this story because if you remember, at the beginning, the kids were playing but they also knew what this day represented, and they were gathering rocks in order to stone someone this year.Normal kids just don't do that.
I agree with Natalie and Xavia that this setting is pretty uncanny. In the beginning it sounds like all is going well but then very quickly some things jump out that seems rather unusual like "the very small children rolling in the dust" and "Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones..."
Elizabeth,I agree. I believe the author did not put a date or location to the story to let the reader imagine those facts so that the story seems more real and closer to home to the reader. She writes the story as though to give it more of an uncanny sense.
why would the society want to continue the old tradition of the lottery, and even be heartless as they conducted it? "Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones" (Jackson 8). This shows how it wasn't even really necessary to continue the ritual but they did anyways. also, how could they be so heartless when conducting the ritual? "The lottery was conducted--as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program..."(Jackson 1). This is comparing the completely drastic and masochistic ways of the ritual of the lottery with simple innocent traditions like square dances etc. The evil in this example shows the uncanny. The innocent traditions seem so familiar yet the lottery seems so extraneous.
Angelica, I think that its really weird that it would be called the Lottery too because when you go to a Lottery you go to win something, not lose something. A lottery is generally a happy term where people go to wiin things not lose their lives.
jake, i'm not sure that it is foreshadowing, i think it has more to do with creating a sense of confusion of the kids' behavior when everything else seems so normal.
Do you guys think the other towns lottery's where the same as this town?
Angelica- I agree and I think this uncanny lottery is what makes this story Gothic.
Dana and Morgan-This is a gothic story because of the uncanny of the society and the gothic setting and the disturbing tradition that they have. There is also kind of a mystery in the story that makes it creepy and weird.
Okay Morgan. I understand. I guess i just meant that children are expected to be purely innocent, but I agree, they do know what's going on and they're showing it in kind of a creepy way.
Andrew- Hey! It actually is necessary for them because the people of the town have no other way to deal with the things they are repressing in their lives and this is the only thing that they know because it is tradition for them.
maybe the lottery is kinda like ethnic cleansing. similar to the crucible, the lottery allows the townspeople to keep the town pure and get rid of the abnormal, disliked people in society
Mallory- I think that Shirley Jackson started the story this way to make the story more mysterious and give the town a normal vibe. Also I think she wanted to give us a little surprise when we find out more about the society.
I agree Dana, normal people wouldn't do that. My question is why? Why would they find pleasure in killing people they love?
was the person chosen like their own form of Jesus? because they were being sacrificed to help release all the other villagers feelings and sins? except for the victim didn't sacrifice themselves by choice like Jesus did.
I think this story is trying to point out the human tendency to evil. Exaggerated as it may be, it shows how evil can be thrown in along with innocence and good and humans can't even see the difference.
A main part of the Gothic setting is the people involved. The tragedy witnessed is the death of Mrs. Hutchinson but this isn't even the complete tragedy. Think about who participated in the death of Mrs. Hutchinson; not only were there children throwing rocks at her, but it's very likely her family was a part of it as well.What drives a person to kill their friend and family member? From what we know, there are no repercussions of not participating.
Jake- I think that the black box is a way to repress their feelings and emotions without having to truly show them. The stoning seems to be a way to let it all out and when they are finished they return back to daily life like nothing ever happened. I think they keep the black box because without it they wouldn't know how to deal with their feelings and it has become so normal to them they see it as just a normal activity.
I think the black boxes in the Lottery and in the Village both resemble mystery and the past. Because in the Lottery when he describes it he says, "The black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town." It shows that the box has been around and it holds lots of memories from the old times. Then in the Village the box resembles their past that they never wanted to go back to.
Morgan- They're sick. They have twisted minds because this has been going on for so long so they think its okay when in reality its messed up.
I personally think that the people in this town are SO OBLIVIOUS to the fact that this practice is pretty wrong but they just don't know how to handle it any other way.
The black box represents the repressed feeling that the town has. This same image is used in The Village. in The Village they used these black boxes to repress there feelings as well. This black box represents the person the town uses to sacrifice all of their sins and pressed feelings on. The box also represents the deterioration of the tradition because the box itself is falling apart.
Dana-I think the reason all the people were so calm was because this has been happening for years, so they get used to this kind of thing, especially if you were born into a town that does this, people wouldn't see anything wrong with it if they live around this kind of thing their whole life.
Natalie-I kinda see where you could be getting that but an ethnic cleansing cannot be random like this was.
Andrew--I'm terribly disappointed in your ability to participate in this fishbowl from the comfort of your own home.I'm also really confused...and kinda impressed.
I think that the book is called the Lottery because in the book they draw the names like a lottery
Angelica--It's awesome that you noticed that and I totally agree- and just like in the world how Jesus sacrificed himself and people still sin today, the people of this town sacrifice a person once aand year and continue to repress things over and over again.
There are some examples of the uncanny in this story, For example on the first page in the second paragraph there was a quote that said, "...Dellacroy eventually made a great pile of stones in the corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of other boys." Children are something that is familiar and you wouldn't look at as weird or strange, but the rocks and the way things were being described there was definitly something off.
i think the black box is used in this story and in The Village because it is a very tangible representation of secrets or misdeeds. Things that we know are wrong and try to escape from will stay with us forever, until we let them go. "The black box grew shabbier each year: by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained." I think the author uses this black box to show that "the lottery" is an old tradition that is beginning to fade as the younger generations move through. The deteriorating box symbolizes that on a physical level.
Rachel,Handle what? I personally don't think they have any reason to do this. This is sick. I wonder how this idea even came about. How does killing one person a year make the town better?
Angelica- I think that the towns people are only like Jesus in that the die to help relieve people, but none of them want to die for someone else, like Jesus. Mrs. Hutchinson was pleading,"It isn't fair, it isn't right,"(Jackson 8)
That's really interesting Angelica. I think that it's possible that these people had their own form of Jesus to represent or bring revival in what He did for us. Still, it seems kind of wrong because there's only one who could've died for everyone for their sins.
Angelica-I don't think that you can compare the person chosen to Jesus because Jesus died out of compassion of all of the people on earth and the person chosen has no choice but to be stoned. Jesus died for our sins to save us. The people in this society are getting to relieve their pain but it is not because this person is dieing for them.
Michelle- even if it had been happening for years wouldn't you be scared still? It's like today could be the day that you die and you have no control over it. Like you would be killed by your own family and friends- I think that would be scary no matter how many times it had happened.
andrew, that's a good question. i guess it could be that they have had it as a tradition so long that this is the only thing they have ever known. it has become so natural to them that they think nothing of it, it has become as familiar as annual celebrations. however, as they were saying in the inner circle, they were talking about how other towns have gotten rid of this tradition. so i think that it is so expected to have it every year but it still a frightening experience for them, no one wants to be killed by the towns people and i'm sure it isn't pleasant for the others even though it is used to release their emotions that they have stored up until then.
I think that the metaphor about the villager chosen to be stoned is like Jesus, is very possible. The way that each story has had a background of keeping secrets and having strange rituals shows us that they are continuing to repress their emotions. The stoning is a release and maybe they are basing it off the ideas of the crucifixion.
emma - i agree with you. "The children had stones already. and someone gave davy hutchinson few pebbles" (Jackson 8). This adds on to your example of the uncanny. It seems as if this ritual has been continuing on because of the youth and the fact that since they were young, they have been brainwashed to think that the ritual of the lottery is acceptable.
Andrew- not only acceptable; they think it's fun. Even Davy thought it was fun when he was killing his own mom.
Uhm...this whole Jesus reference seems irrelevant. How does it make sense that one person can get killed, and now everyone is 'clean' again?Really...?
Ryan- I think that the other towns lottery were a lot like this or some version of this because on pg 5 it says "Some places have already quit the lotteries."If the lotteries were a positive thing then there would be no reason to quit them.
I can kind of understand why these people would do this to represent Jesus' death, but honestly, there's only one Jesus and he only died once, not many times. Maybe they have the wrong idea about Jesus.
Jesus sacrificed himself. He chose to do it. The people in the town don't sacrifice themselves. In fact, they hope that it isn't them who dies that year. Jesus died to set his captives free. With one person dying a year, it only releives the town people for a year, but in the end, they end up worried and scared and unhappy.
i think they didn't get a new black box was so that they would never have to deal with the guilt and emotions that came with killing their family, friends, neighbors, etc.
I think that the description of the stones in the beginning is to introduce the story and show their importance and at the end to end the story the same way it began. I think it was just to take the story in a circle. Start with something familiar and end with the same thing but so different.
I think part of the reason the people of this town dont stand up against the stoning of their family members because they are afraid they will be killed as well
Whenever the town wants to talk about changing the box nobody takes a stand and they just try not to get anything done until people forget about the issue and it just goes away. I believe this represents how the people are. They repress there feelings until once again it comes that time of the year where they have to deal with them. The town does not want to have the issues they face and let them grow until they feel that death is needed for atonement.
Wow, I never thought of that, Angelica. That's a really good thought. But now that I think of it I think that, that could be a really good possibility for the reason why they were sacraficing their friends. Maybe thats why Old Man Warner thought it was such a bad idea to give up the Lottery. On page 5 Old there was a conversation between Mrs. Adams and Old Man Warner, " Some places have already quit lotteries,... Nothing but trouble in that." Maybe they view sacraficing others as a way of getting rid of their sins.
Emma- i agree with you too. The children and the stones were examples of the uncanny. We see stones in our everyday lives so we think nothing really of it because kids play with things all the time. Also no one really suspects children and kids because they are so innocent that they don't know any better.
dana- exactly. and i don't even see how they could possibly be so corrupt. "'it isn't fair,' she said. a stone hit her on the side of the head. Old man Warner was saying, 'Come on, come on, everyone.'" (Jackson 8). Old Man Warner had even been encouraging people to continue the stoning.
Why are they still stuck on the sacrificial aspect of the story.I think that there is soo much more in depth to talk about.
i think this tradition is so imbedded in their society that i dont think they would think twice about killing a child.
casey dont be rude and shoot down others ideas. just state your opinion and get on with it.
Okay Casey, ALL of our sins are forgiven because Jesus is the only one who could be sacrificed to do that because He is the son of God. Those who believe in Him are forgiven their sins because they want to follow Him and believe in Him and live with Him forever. Just like baptism. Baptism is the revival in the faith in God and it's MUCH less painful and gory than stoning people to death.
Nowlan-I agree. This is a great example of catharsis.
Caseyis your question about Jesus dying and then everyone being clean again? People have a choice, a free will, they choose to either accept God or deny him. But one person in the town dying doesn't make people clean again. But one man (Jesus) dying for YOU, for me, for everyone, can change the world. And he did. (John 3:16)
i think the society is trying to hide behind something
Andrew- Tessie is like showing how no one in the town really cared who died- until it was them. She is just showing how people are heartless and selfish. If she hadn't been picked to die she would be along side with the rest of the people throwing stones at someone else. She's just saying its unfair because she lost and was being a poor sport. If she really ahd believed something was wrong with stoning random people she should have said something before they even had the lottery that day.
Why do you think that the townspeople felt the need to sacrifice people? I know that it was a tradition but how and why did the tradition start?
i agree that mrs. hutchinson was very annoying. i thought that she was wrong in saying that it wasn't fair because she has been through this many years and wasn't complaining that they were being stoned. everyone had the same chance. "be a good sport tessie, all of us took the same chance." page 6
Dana-True I would be scared. I know when I'm scared I use humor and try to laugh and stay calm cause I don't like the overwhelming feeling of being scared, especially if my life was at stake. Maybe they are all scared and it bothers them but true why wouldn't someone stand up and say this is wrong? There is this quote though that shows that some aren't bothered by the lottery. "Some places have already quit lotteries' Mrs. Adams said" "Nothing good in that' Old Man Warner said Softly 'Pack of young fools." (Pg. 3) I guess maybe they think this keeps the town in order somehow. But obviously they feel it is okay to do this, and it should continue.
EXACTLY Morgan. The people in this town DON'T choose to die. Jesus did. He did it out of love of ALL PEOPLE, yes, meaning EVERYONE in the world.
dana- i agree with what you are saying and that just goes in to my idea that Jackson is trying to portray human evil and how people are willing to engage in evil activity until it means that they are in harms way. It is as if these people have no conscience to determine right from wrong, and the idea of sympathy is completely extinguished from the society
I dont think the author was trying to make a connection with jesus. i think Jackson was just trying to show that no society can be perfect.
I think that the point of this story is to tell us that no matter how perfect your society is everyone has a secret and you never know when that secret will or if it will come out.
Do any of the people in the society know why they are doing this or is just something they are taught?
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." john 3:16
i think it is crazy how the town can be so little but have such a big day
Is there a relationship between the feelings of the people and the black box?
And elizabeth, I do think that this is just something they were taught. Kind of messed up.
Mrs. Leclaire is correct. Everyone is part of the mob until they realize what they've been doing to the other people. Mrs. Hutchinson would have been fine with the outcome of the lottery as long as it wasn't her. This is displayed when Mrs. Hutchinson screams out on page 6 "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!"She wouldn't have cared if she wasn't selected.And to everyone that has gone off on this tangent that Jesus is the moral of this story and who is trying to quote the bible and prove me wrong, I was asking a question. Not meant to be offensive, believe in whatever you want. I don't care about any Jesus situation specifically. I was referring to the story only. No need to get defensive.
rachel, this isn't the place for a religious debate. being a strong Christian myself, i understand why you would take offense to that, but it's not accomplishing anything by yelling out verses and stuff like that. no offense
sorry andrew. We do have the freedom.
okay I understand Casey.
Andrew, Natalie, and Casey.SHE WAS JUST MAKING A CONNECTION sorry if it upset you geez.
I believe that the author used a non-gothic setting: "The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." to make the ending more shock and suprising. I also believe that the author was criticizing the way the world views other peoples problems. Like Dana said, "no one cared who died until it was them." The author is trying to convince the reader to not overlook others' hardships, but to help them. And I wont give a comment on whether or not Jesus played a role in this story... though i do believe it is a very valid connection.
oh ya and i posted that comment because i was in surgery the day the discussion occured