Throughout "The Lottery," there is a general atmosphere of excitement. What indication is there of nervousness and apprehension?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narration is generally objective and detached in Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery." The children show the most excitement, though part of it comes from them recently completing school and just beginning their summer break. The boys gathered stones in a pile and at least one boy "stuffed his pockets full." There was some hesitation when Mr. Summers, who conducted the lottery, asked for help to move the stool and the important black box. "There was a great deal of fussing to be done" before the lottery could begin. When she finally arrived, "Mrs. Hutchinson came hurriedly," and several people laughed when she claimed to have nearly forgotten the important date. Mr. Summers "spoke soberly" and there was "a sudden hush" when he began the proceedings. The tall Watson boy "blinked his eyes nervously and ducked his head." Mr. Graves greeted Summers "gravely," and Old Man Warner "snorted" when told that nearby villages were doing away with the lottery. Mrs. Dunbar commented that "I wish they'd hurry." When Summers came to the final slip of paper, "there was a long pause, a breathless pause." Bill Hutchinson was "quiet," but his wife "shouted" when she discovered the paper held her name. Mrs. Dunbar was "gasping for breath" as she advanced upon Tessie Hutchinson, who screamed

"It isn't fair, it isn't right...," and then they were upon her.


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The Lottery

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