Michael Fitpatrick October 16, 2000 Critical Writing 2 This paper is about Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. On June 27 the townspeople started to assemble in the town square. The town was decorated and had lush green grass growing from the springtime weather. The lottery was an annual affair, which was to be run by Mr. Summers, who knew all about civic duties and the town. The lottery was older than the oldest man in town and was run by clockwork precision. The children would come first as they were the most excited to be attending the lottery. They would gather up stones of various sizes and make piles for themselves. The children were getting restless, as they wanted it to begin. The women and men arrived and Mr. Summers carried the big black box to the middle of the square and put it down on a three-legged stool. Several men steadied it as Mr. Summers mixed up the papers inside the box. The head of each household drew the papers for each of the families which were held without looking at them, until everyone had a chance to draw. “Mrs. Hutchinson came hurriedly along the path to the square.” She explained her lateness as having to do the dishes and other housework at home. She knew the lottery was important, but it was not as important as her work at home. The papers were now scrutinized, and the winning family was alerted. The winning mark, which was a black dot was on Mr. Hutchinson’s piece of paper. This meant that their family were the winners. Now, the second phase of the lottery could take place. The winner was Mrs. Hutchinson; as she was chosen by the head of household, her husband. With a surprised look coming out from inside her face, she began to doubt the results. She said “I think we ought to start over.” As the townspeople started to mill around, they started to gather up the stones. They proceeded to hurl the stones at Mrs. Hutchinson until she could not stand on her own feet. She died of intense trauma due to the stoning. The people went home and had a great day. The theme of this story was that society thought there was a threat to the town and was using a conflict that one woman was chosen to die to alleviate the suffering. Society should not treat its citizens with contempt as they treated the winner of the lottery. The lottery was set up the wrong way and the winner should of got a prize, but in the story the winner was stoned to death. In other words the winner was killed by the townspeople, for being selected. A winner of the lottery did not want to collect the prize because they did not want to be murdered. The conflict Mrs. Hutchison knew was that she remembered what went next, from previous lotteries. She knew she was going to get stoned and she knew what happened to the winner. She did not want to be the winner. She just wanted to go home to her housework.