What paraphernalia is used to conduct "The Lottery," and what attempts are made to keep the traditional ceremony?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The citizens of the town assemble "in the square, between the post office and the bank" for the lottery each summer. Mr. Summers, who runs a coal business in the village, handles the important wooden, black box in which the names of each family, on slips of paper, are placed. Mr. Graves, the postmaster, carries a three-legged stool on which the box rests.

The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born.

There has been talk of constructing a new box, but no one likes the idea since it would

... upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.

It is believed that the present box, now faded and showing its original wood color, had been constructed of fragments of the original box. It is safeguarded after each lottery, most recently in Mr. Summers' company safe. Mr. Summers is sworn in each year, but "a recital of some sort," part of the original ceremony, has been discontinued, as has a "ritual salute." One thing that has apparently not changed are the stones and pebbles used to "reward" the winner of the lottery. 

Read the study guide:
The Lottery

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question