One of the most interesting aspects of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is the time period in which it was written. Published in 1948, just three years after the end of World War II and the discovery of the Nazi death camps, "The Lottery" touches on the idea that otherwise kind and friendly people could do something horrific to innocent people, who, in retrospect, are scapegoats for these people's problems. For Hitler and Germany, the Jewish people were the scapegoats, and in this story, Tessie Hutchinson serves a similar purpose.
The actual lottery in Jackson's story clearly has something to do with agricultural problems in this small village, as Old Man Warner says, "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon." The villagers, obviously afraid of offending their gods or nature, find it necessary to commit the ultimate evil by murdering an innocent woman in the hopes that this sacrifice will yield a good crop.
Overall, Jackson's story is a commentary on the evils the masses will commit if they...
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