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Jessica Reed

Mrs. Patrick

LNG 321

November 15 2010

“The Lottery” Socratic Circle

Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” The New Yorker 26 June 1948. Print.

Question 1: Upon rereading, what hints does the author give us that all is not what it appears to
be? Give examples of foreshadowing.

Response (170): the author gives multiple hints on what thing appear not to be, such as using
examples of foreshadowing like: “stuffed his pocket full of stones,” “selecting the smoothest and
roundest stones,” and “great pile of stones”(Jackson 1). As a reader I first thought that the kids
were just playing around with the stones not knowing that the stones represent pain and death.
The lottery to me is a game of chance and luck with money, gambling. She used it as
foreshadowing in this story when she just mentioned it without any explanation such as: “the
lottery took 2 days,” “the whole lottery took less than 2 hours,” “every year, after the lottery”
(Jackson 1). The author wants us to believe that the lottery isn’t a dangerous, scary game. Shirley
Jackson uses “the black box” to display foreshadowing by not really explaining what it mean just
saying “the black box” not explaining just stating thaat it might beb a bad thing and makes it
seem that everyone is afraid of it.

Question 2: the setting takes place in a seemingly “peaceful” town. How does the setting
contrast with the plot and characters? How do these elements of the story create interest and
contradiction?

Response (108): “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a
full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green”
(Jacksoon 1) In this statement by making the town seem pretty and bright and nothing worng
ever happens cause its scenary is nice. The people seem friendly and hey all get along. But come
time for the lottery they have to befriend someone. These elements create a lot of contradiction
because the if the setting and characters are nice you would think that the story would jus tbe a
typical story about a small town. Its iteresting because its something you don’t expect and it
keeps you wanting to know whats going to happen next.

Question 3: Is the lottery a collective act of murder? Is it morally justified? Is tradition sufficient
justification for such actions? How would you respond to cultures that are different from ours
that perform “strange” rituals?
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Response (193): The lottery does seem like a collective act of murder to us as readers, but to the
author and the characters in the story its an annual thing that everyones use too. Just because itsa
annual tradition doesn’t making it morally justfied. A life is a life and you cant just take that
away because a piece of paper says so or a certain tradition. The tradition would not be a
sufficient justification because its unlawful and dangerous.you don’t keepa dangerous game of
chance like that around from generation to generation. When people do this lottery and they are
chosen they explain how unfair it is and make up excuses on why. “Suddenly. Tessie Hutchinson
shouted to Mr. Summers. "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw
you. It wasn't fair!" such as these when the charcter Tessie didn’t want her husbad to be theone to
go. I wouldn’t know how to respond to such a tradition but I would just take my chances and
luck and hope for the best, but only if I really had too.a tradition like this is cruel and dangerous
but unique.