“The Lottery” begins on the morning of the annual lottery day, as the townspeople begin to gather in the square. The rising action includes all the events of that day until the climax. Rather than laying out a large amount of exposition near the beginning, Shirley Jackson intersperses the exposition with the rising action. Largely through dialogue among the townspeople, who reminisce about their community’s length tradition and its changes, the reader learns about the importance of this ritual, the origin of which has been lost. Two important parts of the rising action are the placement of the box on the stool and making lists of the households and their members.
An element of foreshadowing is the abrupt appearance of Tessie Hutchinson, who claims to have forgotten what day it is. As she later objects to having been selected, her apparent lapse of memory can be taken to indicate her reluctance to participate. The rising action continues with the arrangements for the family delegate or substitute if needed, a review of the rules, and the drawing itself. Until the point that the chosen family’s identity is revealed, the others’ speculations about who it could be also constitute part of the rising action.
The climax occurs when the Hutchinsons are revealed as that family, and Tessie complains about the unfairness. Her behavior and the others’ reactions indicate her personal conflict with the town. Also part of the climax is the second round drawing and the selection of Tessie. The falling action occurs as the townspeople gather the stones and advance toward Tessie. While the reader can assume that they actually do kill her, which would be the resolution, that action is not included.