What is your personal response to Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery"?

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Obviously no one can tell you what your personal response to a story was, and it is evident that your teacher wants to hear what you thought or felt about Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" after reading it. I am assuming you have read the selection, so here are some things to help you think about what your response was when you did.

First of all, the reason this story is so popular after so many years is because it has a rather surprise ending, so think about how you felt when you got to the end and everyone--including Tessie Hutchinson's own family--is throwing stones at the lottery "winner."

Another thing to think about is why the ending is so surprising. Ask yourself what you expected when you read the first line of the story:

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.

Then think about what happened to move you from this gorgeous summer day to a public murder in which the entire town participates.

Finally, consider what point you think Jackson may be making. What was your initial thinking about what she might be trying to say about society and about you by writing this story.

It has been many years since I read this story for the first time, and I still remember the impact it had on me. Try to capture your response to the story so you can properly answer this question for yourself.