Do things like the lottery happen in our world today? This is in reference to the short story "The Lottery."

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a great question, because you are trying to find modern day connections with literature. To answer your question, we need to be nuanced. 

We don't have something like the lottery in the same way, that is, we, as Americans, do not practice ritualistic murder based on the chance of some perceived gain. However, if we look at the deeper structure of the short story, we do find the idea of a scapegoat sacrificed in order to gain something. The words of Old Man Warner are illustrative: "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon."

In view of this, we need to ask whether we single people out for some superstitious reason. If we put it this way, the answer is yes. 

For example, when we single out a people to bear the blame for our woes, we are close to doing the same thing. Whites blaming blacks in recent memory might be an example. The whole immigration discourse might be an example. The best example of this might be religious persecution.

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The Lottery

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