Lottery is a method of awarding a prize based on a random drawing of tickets or other entries. It is popular in many countries and is used for various purposes, including determining ownership or other rights to land, goods, services, or prizes. Its roots go back centuries, with the drawing of lots recorded in documents from the ancient world. Throughout history, governments and private organizations have held lotteries to raise money for public works projects and wars. In the United States, lottery operations are a common source of state revenue.
State lotteries typically begin with legislation to create a monopoly; establish a government agency or public corporation to run the lottery; and start operations by selling a small number of relatively simple games. Over time, they evolve to meet the demands of a growing audience of players. Revenues expand rapidly at first, then level off and eventually decline, prompting the introduction of new games to maintain or increase revenues.
As a result, most state lotteries have multiple constituencies. These include convenience store operators (lotteries are their biggest source of business); lottery suppliers (heavy contributions from these businesses to state political campaigns are reported); teachers and school administrators (in those states where lottery revenues are earmarked for education); and state legislators, who become accustomed to the additional revenue from the lotteries and often do little or nothing to curb its growth.
The setting and the characterization methods used in The Lottery allow readers to explore a number of themes. Some of these include the role of traditions in society, and how they can impact a person’s behavior. Others examine the relationship between the sexes, and how gender roles can influence people’s actions in crowds. Finally, The Lottery offers an opportunity to consider class differences in the town of the story.
In The Lottery, Jackson’s use of characterization methods is noteworthy. One example is her mention that the children gathered first, “of course.” This wording implies that this was the normal order of things at the lottery, almost like a parade. Similarly, the fact that Mrs. Delacroix chose a large rock reveals her character as determined and quick-tempered.
A further characterization method involves the manner in which Jackson describes the townspeople’s actions. She writes, “the villagers were huddled together in groups and clusters, talking, laughing, handling each other without the slightest flinch or reluctance.” (Jackson 1) This is meant to convey a sense of safety and familiarity. It also suggests a level of acceptance of the lottery and the violence that may accompany it.
The story shows how the town’s adherence to tradition can blind people to the evil that surrounds them. It is important to note that the townspeople do not view the lottery as a sin or murder; rather, they see it as God’s will. This can be a sign of the influence that religion has over a society. This is a topic worthy of further study. In addition, it is interesting to think about why a society would want to participate in such an event.