- While I was surprised by the extent of the ‘prize’ at the end, its negative nature became obvious when Mrs. Hutchinson started her protestations about the drawing being unfair. If winning the lottery was truly a good thing, she would not have protested. After reading the end of the tale, the hints in the first few paragraphs become more obvious. For example, most of the interactions among the villagers are more reserved and quiet, such as the men merely smiling and not laughing and the boys jealously guarding their rock piles. Additionally, the women wore faded clothes rather than special garments, which suggests that the result was not a pleasant one. Jackson lulls the reader into believing that the town is an average one, by mentioning staples of the common village, such as the post office, bank, abundance of children and their behaviors, as well as the fact that this situation happened everywhere.
- The story takes place in a small, rural village, within communication distance of other similar towns. The town has a pleasant, rustic, and civil air, as depicted with the sunny weather, dust on the ground, and orderly nature of most of the inhabitants. The setting allows the events to take place with the excuse of being a tradition. As such, many of the townspeople probably spent their entire lives in the town and never had a reason to oppose the lottery. Beyond this consideration, the town seems like a very unlikely host for such a brutal tradition.
- Curiously, very few of the town’s three hundred residents are even mentioned in the story. Of these select people, all are men except Mrs. Delacroix, Mrs. Watson, Mrs. Dunbar, and Tessie Hutchinson. The center two are mentioned only due to their family’s misfortune that year and Delacroix merely because she interacts with Tessie. As the only female whose first name is mentioned, and one of the few characters in the story overall, she becomes a bit more known to the reader than the rest of the characters. Consequently, it seems a bit more obvious that she will become the ‘winner’ as most writers like to create at least some sympathy for doomed characters if they are making a point about an injustice.
8. Based on the exposition and tone of the story as well as the amount of sympathy created for Tessie Hutchinson, the writer’s attitude appears to be one of condemnation. Throughout the piece she creates a narrative of a town which blindly follows a destructive tradition with little justification for doing so. Even Tessie, the character who bears the brunt of the tradition this year, does not push to end it but merely works to switch the burden onto another family until after she draws the doomed paper. Before this, the town seems respectable enough, but the blight of tradition dooms their otherwise decent town.