In a 1979 article Richard H. Williams notes what he takes to be a "flaw" in the two-stage process by which the victim is selected in Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." Readers of the story will recall that the first round of the drawing determines a household from which the victim is to be drawn; the second round, the single victim from within that household. Williams points out that under such a system ''individuals who are members of smaller families are more likely to be chosen as the sacrificial victim," and he then proposes a new plan that would keep the two-stage process but have the...
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