The ending of "The Lottery" is shocking and horrific just because the author, Shirley Jackson, deliberately made the beginning so homey and unimportant. It looks like it is going to be a story about some very simple occurrence in a totally ordinary small town. The opening sentence of the story shows the kind of mood the author intends to establish.
The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.
How could anything bad happen in a peaceful little American town on a day like this? Gradually the author makes the simple small-town event, whatever it is, seem more sinister. The people are all a little agitated. The small boys are gathering piles of rocks. What in the world could they be planning to use them for?
The mood changes entirely when Bill Hutchinson draws the black spot for his family. His wife Tessie...
(The entire section contains 502 words.)