How would you describe the dialogue in “The Lottery”? What does it sound like to your ear? Give an example of the conversation in the story that most exemplifies your description. Why do you think the author wrote the dialogue in this way?

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The conversation in "The Lottery" sounds very much like ordinary, everyday small town chit-chat. A good example of this occurs when Mrs. Hutchinson is almost late to the lottery drawing. She explains that she was in the middle of everyday household tasks and had almost forgotten about it. To her, it seems like just another chore to check off her "to do" list, and she clearly hasn't thought much about it. We don't get any sense that has worried over it or dwelled on its implications. The passage is as follows:

"Clean forgot what day it was," she said to Mrs. Delacroix, who stood next to her, and they both laughed softly. "Thought my old man was out back stacking wood," Mrs. Hutchinson went on. "and then I looked out the window and the kids was gone, and then I remembered it was the twentyseventh and came a-running." She dried her hands on her apron, and Mrs. Delacroix said, "You're in time, though. They're still talking away up there."

As we can see, she engages in simple small talk about her day, and Mrs. Delacroix answers her as if they are participating in an ordinary drawing for a new washing machine, not a murder.

I think Jackson wrote the dialogue in this way to show how completely the lottery, though a barbaric custom, has been incorporated into the everyday rhythms of the village's life. Despite some rumblings about other town's dropping their lotteries, this village has accepted the lottery as a tradition as if it is a perfectly normal thing to do. Jackson wanted to show how people can get used to evil if is presented as banal and just the way life is.

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