When does the climax of "The Lottery" occur?

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The story builds very gradually to a climax as the number of people in jeopardy is narrowed down from about three hundred to a single family of five and finally to a single member of that family, Tessie Hutchinson. She has been protesting against the conduct of this year's lottery ever since her husband drew the slip with the black spot in the first round. Bill and his three kids all draw blank slips in the second round and show them to the crowd. But Tessie keeps her slip tightly folded and clutched in her hand. 

"It's Tessie," Mr. Summers said, and his voice was hushed. "Show us her paper. Bill."

Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company office. Bill Hutchinson held it up, and there was a stir in the crowd.

"All right, folks." Mr. Summers said. "Let's finish quickly."

These words of Mr. Summers seem to represent the climax. The reader has been waiting to see who will get the black spot. By this time the reader knows that the black spot signifies death. The rest of the story finishes quickly, just as Mr. Summers requests. After the emotional high point of a story has been reached, a good fiction writer will bring it to a close with the fewest possible words. The villagers make short work of their long-time friend and neighbor, completely ignoring her pleas and protests. There is still no explanation of what this terrible lottery means or why people keep holding it year after year. Those questions are left for the reader to contemplate. 

"It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.


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