The Lottery Questions and Answers
by Shirley Jackson

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What is the plot of the story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson?

The plot of "The Lottery" involves the selection of a lottery "winner" out of the residents of a small fictitious town. The "winner" will be sacrificed to ensure that the year's crops are good.

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This is one lottery that you would NOT want to win. The premise of this chilling story is that every year, residents of a small fictional town in New England gather in their town square to take part in a “lottery.” What we are not told up front is that this is not a lottery in which there is money to be won.. One person is to be selected to be sacrificed in accordance with the bizarre belief that this will lead to a bountiful harvest.

On lottery day, we are told that the children arrive first and start collecting stones, but we are not told at first that these stones will be used to stone the lottery “winner” to death. Soon, the adults arrive and the children are called to stand with their families. Proceedings start with officials listing each household present, as well as each member of each household.

In the first round of this lottery, one person designated as the head of each family must draw a slip of paper, and no one may look at their slip until each family has drawn one....

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