A Closer Look at Shirley Jackson’s Lottery

Lottery is a form of gambling in which the prize money for a specific draw is determined by chance. While the casting of lots for decisions and fate has a long record in human history (including several instances in the Bible), the practice of distributing money prizes through lotteries is much more recent. The first recorded public lotteries to offer tickets with prize money were held in the Low Countries in the 15th century. They were used to raise funds for town fortifications and to help the poor.

Lotteries are popular because they are simple to organize, easy to play and appeal to the general public. They also serve as a source of “painless” revenue, providing a way for states to spend money without imposing onerous taxes on working families and the middle class. This arrangement worked well in the immediate post-World War II period, when many states expanded their social safety nets by introducing lotteries.

But as time passes, the dynamics of state lottery policy change. The lottery becomes a source of dependency for the state, resulting in a gradual erosion of its autonomy over time and increasing its vulnerability to external influences. In addition, public officials often adopt a view of the lottery as a means to get rid of taxation altogether.

The main theme of the story is that people should stand up against authority if it is wrong. Shirley Jackson uses the lottery as an example of what can happen when a society loses its moral compass. She argues that people should not blindly follow outdated traditions, especially if they are harmful to other people.

Despite the fact that she wrote this piece in 1948, its significance and meaning have never faded away. It is still a highly controversial work that has attracted a huge amount of attention from scholars and critics alike. It is considered as one of the best short stories written by Shirley Jackson and has been included in several lists of the best American literature works of all times. In addition, the story has also inspired other authors to write similar works on societal norms that are detrimental to humankind. In this article, we will take a closer look at the story to better understand its true meaning and message.