In Shirley Jackson's short story, how has the lottery changed over the years?  

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Shirley Jackson's celebrated short story "The Lottery," the nondescript community participates in a violent, senseless ritual every June, which results in the brutal death of a random innocent civilian. Despite the meaningless nature of the lottery, the community continues to participate in the annual ritual because they are committed to blindly following tradition. Although the citizens are strict adherents to tradition, a few aspects of the lottery have changed over the course of several generations. Jackson writes that the original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost and the community uses a shabby black box to hold the slips of paper. Despite Mr. Summer's pleas for a new black box, the community insists on using the deteriorating old back box during the ritual.

The lottery has also changed over the years with the introduction of paper slips instead of wood chips inside the black box. Originally, the wood chips were placed in the box when the community was significantly...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 917 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on