Who picks the paper with the black dot in Shirley Jackson's short story, The Lottery?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Shirley Jackson's short story, The Lottery, readers are normally shocked by the outcome of the text.

In the story, the members of the community come together in June to proceed with their lottery. The lottery has great meaning for the community: "lottery in June, corn be heavy soon."

There are basically two "rounds" in the lottery. In the first round, the head of the household comes up to draw for their family. In the second round, the "winner" and their family must draw.

In the first round, Bill Hutchinson "wins." He is the one who draws out the paper with the black dot upon it. When Bill brings up his family for the second round, there areĀ five people drawing: Bill, Tessie, Bill (junior), Nancy, and Dave.

In the second round, Tessie is the one who "wins."

teacherskj | Student

Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson picks the lottery paper with the black dot. The winner's prize is a stoning to death by everyone in the community including family. It may be that Mrs. Dealcroix picks up the large stone in unconscience obedience and agreement to Mr. Summer's directive to get it over with "quickly." while there is many references to time throughout the piece there is a piece of earlier text in which Mrs. Delacroix states that time seems to move fast in her life. She said to her friend "that there seemed to be no time between the lotteries any more" and the "last one seemed like it was just a week ago." Her stone was so large that it took both her hands to lift it and she wanted her friend to "hurry up." By comparison none of the other stones were as large. For example Mr. Dunbar's small stones were in each hand and Tessie's own son had a few pebbles. Perhaps Mrs. Delacroix felt strongly just to "finish up" so she could get back to the "important" things that seem to be filling up her time like "noon dinner."

syb65340 | Student

Thank you! U help me a lots.

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The Lottery

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