A Review of the Short Story, “Lottery,” by J. M. Jackson
The lottery is a form of gambling wherein players purchase tickets for a chance to win money or other prizes. It is popular among people of all ages and backgrounds, including children. Many states regulate lotteries, while others do not. There are also private lotteries, which are not regulated but do offer money or goods as prizes. In addition, many private lotteries promote themselves by placing advertisements on television and in the news. In addition to the money that is spent on ticket purchases, some governments also use lottery funds for public works projects.
Despite the fact that it is a form of gambling, lotteries are often defended by politicians and other people who believe that it is a relatively painless way for the government to raise money. During the early years of American history, lotteries were used to finance all sorts of projects, from churches and town fortifications to schools and civil defense. The Continental Congress even tried to use a lottery to help pay for the Revolutionary War.
People who play the lottery often have irrational beliefs about how it works. They may think that they are playing for a good cause or that the odds are in their favor, but most of the time they are just making a fool’s wager. The people who play the most frequently are those whose lives are at a low ebb. They are looking for ways to improve their circumstances, and they see the lottery as a way to do just that.
The short story, “Lottery,” focuses on an annual tradition in a small town in which the residents gather to take part in a lottery. The villagers believe that the lottery is an important ritual because it ensures a good harvest. It also embodies the values of the community. The story is told in a simple style and features imagery to portray the theme of the lottery.
In the beginning of the short story, the children are assembling to take part in the lottery. Jackson uses the words “of course” in describing the order in which the children begin to assemble, which implies that the lottery is an important ritual and it has always been conducted this way.
The children in the story are gathering to partake in a lottery that will likely result in someone’s death. In the context of this short story, this represents the hypocrisy and evil nature of human beings. The name of one of the children, Dickie Delacroix, refers to crucifixion, a symbol of evil and suffering. It is ironic that this name would be given to a child who is participating in an activity that has been deemed unholy by the villagers. The story also reveals the powerlessness of humans in the face of iniquity.