The Lottery Questions and Answers
by Shirley Jackson

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In "The Lottery," what is the "procedure" of the lottery?

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Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” discusses the dangers of refusing to abandon tradition or blindly following what has always been done. Because of this, it’s important to pay attention to the steps that the lottery must follow. As our narrator walks us through the ritual, they mention the small changes that have occurred over time as well as the ones that remain. It is clear that to this town the procedure of the lottery is just as important as the lottery itself.

The annual lottery takes place in the summer, June 27th, and is conducted by Mr. Summers. The night before Mr. Summers and his assistant, Mr. Graves, make the slips for the drawing- one for the head of every household. One slip would have a dark, black spot on it for the “winner” of the lottery. Once they finish, they place the slips in the black box.

The morning of the lottery, as the town gathers together the children gather rocks and await the ceremony. Mr. Summers brings out the box and places it on...

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