In a sentence, how would you describe the theme of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson?

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A one-sentence description of the theme of "The Lottery" might be this: The story is about the sacrifice of one for the good of many. When we think of a lottery, we visualize riches, fame and fortune. We fantasize about all the things we could do if we just won the lottery. When the people in this story thought of a lottery, however, they had no pleasant fantasies to enjoy. They knew that the winner of the lottery was really no winner at all. That person would sacrifice his or her life so that the community might have a good harvest in the coming year.

isitcrazy1 | Student

"Some traditions don't need to be kept."  Short and sweet and it about covers the whole story.  When i first read it i was in complete shock and horror.  We had a class discussion and that was the one sentence that kept reoccuring.  Hope it helps!

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The Lottery

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