Describe the setting of The Lottery.

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"The Lottery" takes place in a small village, apparently a charming place, with flowers "blossoming profusely"(1), a lovely village square, and grass that is "richly green" (1).  This is a small village, with approximately three hundred people. As the story opens, the scene seems idyllic. 

We know that the village has most amenities, a bank and a post office, a school. It has great activities, square dances, for example, a club for teens, and some sort of Halloween program.  We know there is a coal business, which Mr. Summers owns, so there must be some sort of coal mining in the area.  There is also likely to be some farming, too, since we are told that Mr. Graves has a barn, and there is a grocery store, which belongs to the Martin family. 

In short, this seems to be a lovely little village, a wonderful place to live, with some industry, some farming, and many conveniences.  Opening her story in this beautiful setting contributes greatly to the reader's shock by the end of the story. But ugly events can happen in beautiful places just as well as they can happen anywhere else. 

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