What is the exposition of "The Lottery?"

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the exposition of Jackson's short story is what adds to its horror.  The day is described as a beautiful June day.  The sun is shining and there is a perceptible feeling of joy in the air.  Children run and scamper around, excited at the freedom experienced with school over.  The boys are, innocently it seems, collecting stones and stacking them, while the girls are off chatting.  The fathers are gathered in one area, commiserating, talking to one another about crops and such, while watching over their children.  All in all, the day is a wonderful one and the reader has little idea as to why they are all gathered.  The exposition is spent detailing names like "Dickie Delacroix" and the like.  Adding to this is the seemingly harmless arrival of both Mr. Summers, who is struggling a bit with the weight of the box and pedestal, and the tardiness of Tessie Hutchinson, along with her conversations with her best fried, Mrs. Delacroix. The serene tranquility of the exposition belies the horror that is to play itself out.