Why did Shirley Jackson choose a lottery as her subject matter?

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Are you asking why Shirley Jackson chose to portray the traditions that she does in "The Lottery"? If so, know that Jackson herself gave different answers at different times as to its inspiration.

According to Jackson biographer Ruth Franklin, Jackson cited anti-Semitism as one reason, but at another time she claimed real people were the characters' inspiration. Franklin believes that the most likely reason is a more general one offered by Jackson's correspondence with a literary critic:

“I suppose I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village, to shock the story’s readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives."

In the end, it's typically impossible to pinpoint the sole inspiration that motivates an author to portray a certain situation in a certain way -- after all, even when a writer *knows* what's inspiring them, there may be countless other things influencing their authorial choices on a subconscious level. Though Jackson's intent cannot be defined absolutely, "The Lottery" is a story that allows myriad interpretations and garners diverse reader reactions. 

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