When did you start thinking there was something wrong about "The Lottery"?

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dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are hints that foreshadow that something wrong is going to happen from the beginning of the story, starting from the very first few pages when the little boys of the village are piling up the stones and filling their pockets with them.  Throughout the story, characters are described as acting "nervously" during the lottery's first round.  When the characters are first introduced, the men are described as telling joke that were "quiet and they smiled rather than laughed."  This tells us that this is not going to have a happy outcome.   Another example of this "unhappy ending" occurs when Old Man Warner expresses his disapproval for some towns who have been talking of getting rid of the lottery.  If the lottery had a happy ending, then why would the town want to get rid of it.  Additional clues occur after the Hutchinsons have "won" the lottery when Mrs. hutchinson complains, "You didn`t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn`t fair!"  Then, when her daughter Nancy draws, one of her friends is hoping that she doesn't win stating, "I hope it`s not Nancy."