A Review of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”

The lottery is a popular method for raising funds for public projects and private ventures. It involves selling tickets with numbers that are drawn at random. Those who have the winning numbers receive prizes, such as cash or goods. Historically, people have used lotteries to finance everything from the building of churches to canals and roads. In colonial America, many of the first English colonies financed their settlements with lotteries. George Washington even sponsored a lottery to fund an expedition against Canada. Today, however, many critics are concerned that state-sponsored lotteries promote addictive gambling behavior and impose a major regressive tax on the poor.

Despite these criticisms, state governments have continued to adopt lotteries. They argue that they offer a source of “painless” revenue, which can help states increase their social safety net without having to raise taxes on the middle and working classes. In addition, lotteries provide an opportunity for politicians to obtain public support for their proposals.

However, these arguments are flawed. While lotteries may bring in some tax revenue, they also divert a significant amount of money from other public priorities. In addition, the large jackpots of modern-day lotteries attract attention from the media and encourage illegal gambling. As a result, the lottery industry has become a major problem in many countries, where millions of people spend their money on tickets with tiny odds of winning.

Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” tells the tale of a small-town American community in which the annual lottery becomes increasingly violent and corrupt. This story is a critique of the blind following of outdated traditions and rituals that can be dangerous to society. It also warns readers that it is possible for evil to take hold in places where the majority of people appear to be happy and harmless.

In the beginning of the story, there seems to be little conflict as the villagers gather for their annual lottery. The narrator notes that the lottery is held in June to ensure a good harvest, and Old Man Warner quotes an old proverb that says “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” Nevertheless, the participants seem to ignore any problems with their ritual, ignoring Tessie Hutchinson’s pleas that they should reconsider their actions.

While the story is a critique of democratic government, it also warns against blind obedience to the status quo. The villagers in the story are not willing to question an outdated tradition, even when it leads to violence and murder. The story also shows how easily a person can be manipulated by greed and the promise of instant riches.

Those who are involved in running state lotteries must be mindful of the issues cited above and continually seek ways to improve transparency and accountability. In addition, they should work with other organizations to develop best practices in preventing and responding to problem gambling. In this way, they can improve their image and the overall integrity of their industry.