"The Lottery" is a highly symbolic short story, written in omniscient third person point of view, about the impact of systemic, needless violence. Originally published in the late 1940's, the story has as much of an impact today as it did upon first publication.
The three structural parts of the story are as follows:
1. Introduction/Rising Action: The reading of the names. During the opening moments of the story, we are introduced to a bevy of townsfolk all gathering for a yearly ritual, the consequences of which we as readers do not yet understand. We are introduced to the town, and we settle in to let the ritual begin.
2. Climax: The Hutchinson Family is singled out. Tessie and her family have their names put back into the box to be redrawn. We know now that something untoward will happen to this family, but it isn't until Tessie's name is finally called that we know what's going on: she won't survive this ritual.
3. Denouement: Tessie pleads with the townsfolk, "It isn't fair", etc. We know that she will be stoned to death, thus answering the major dramatic question of the story which is, in essence, "What's going on in this town?"