Why Did Shirley Jackson Wrote The Lottery

Why did Shirley Jackson write "The Lottery"?

Expert Answers info

Harrison Murray, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Clemson University


calendarEducator since 2019

write1,346 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

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...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 782 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,746 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


isitcrazy1 | Student

She wrote it to bring up the oppression of women.  In the story it constintly points out that women are inferior.  The boys gather the stones, the boys draw the cards, and the women stand around and chat.  She wanted the situation to stop.  When tessie said "this is wrong", that was shirley acting out.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial