The Lottery; or, The Adventures of James Harris

by Shirley Jackson

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Themes

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 91

The main theme of The Lottery is Jackson's rather frightening view of the inner life of modern humankind, as symbolized by hallucinatory evil figures such as James Harris or evil crowds such as the stone-throwing mob in "The Lottery" or the coldly indifferent city dwellers in the New York City stories. Without preaching and through a very carefully understated style, Jackson depicts a very somber, cautionary view of life in the late twentieth century. The Lottery is Jackson at her literary best, as an artist of what Geismar calls "psycho-supernatural horror."

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Characters