What perfunctory steps take place every year?

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Many of the steps involved in the completion of the lottery could be described as perfunctory. For example, every year the villagers make a list of all of the members of the village from the oldest to the youngest. Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves make slips of paper, fold them, and put them in a black box. The next day, all of the villagers assemble in the square of the village and wait for Mr. Summers to conduct the drawing. Mr. Summers takes out the black box and calls the head of each household to the front to take out a slip of paper. This whole process is terribly mundane and tedious and offers no indication of the incredible stakes and importance of the drama that is unfolding in the village. From watching the process unfold, no one would surmise that the villagers are deciding which of them will ultimately be stoned to death at the end of the lottery.

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