When Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" first appeared in The New Yorker on June 26, 1948, she was fairly flooded with responses, with most readers completely horrified and confused about what her intention in writing this story could have possibly been. Many readers wanted to know if this story was based on an actual town and actual sacrifice, and if so, where this setting was located. Most readers did not react kindly to Jackson's story, yet it has become one of the most studied plots in literature courses.
Jackson herself eventually made some comments regarding her purpose behind the story to various people over a long span of years. Perhaps one of the most significant is this comment she made to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle:
I suppose I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village, to shock the story’s readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives.
Writing this story around...
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