“The Lottery” was written in 1948, not long after the end of World War II and The Great Depression. These two events changed society’s mindset to an “every man for himself” kind of thinking in order to survive.
What historical events influenced The Lottery?
During the Cold War, Americans began clinging to the idea of a traditional American way of life and exhibiting blind patriotism. This is reminiscent of the blind acceptance of the lottery the villagers in the story exhibit. “The Lottery” also draws thematic influence from World War II, which ended in 1945.
What inspired The Lottery?
Although it is often unclear which specific authors Jackson would draw her influence from, it was evident in her writings from an early age that her inspiration came from her view that there was a hidden dark side in everyone (“Shirley Jackson Biography”).
What does the black box symbolize in The Lottery?
The Black Box
The shabby black box represents both the tradition of the lottery and the illogic of the villagers’ loyalty to it. The black box is nearly falling apart, hardly even black anymore after years of use and storage, but the villagers are unwilling to replace it.
What is the main message of the lottery?
The main themes in “The Lottery” are the vulnerability of the individual, the importance of questioning tradition, and the relationship between civilization and violence. The vulnerability of the individual: Given the structure of the annual lottery, each individual townsperson is defenseless against the larger group.
Why was the lottery so controversial?
“The Lottery” was controversial because it critiqued blind conformity to tradition. It was written when American nationalism was rising in response to growing fears of communism. Many readers were thus upset with Jackson’s negative portrayal of conformity, which they interpreted as a critique of patriotism.
Why was Tessie late at the gathering to hold the lottery?
Why was Tessie late to arrive at the gathering to hold the lottery? She started to leave town to protest the lottery. She ran away but was caught and returned. She wasn’t late–she was the first to arrive.
What is the moral lesson in the lottery?
In “The Lottery,” the moral lesson or theme is that one should not blindly follow traditions simply because they’re tradition.
What important preparation is made a night before the lottery?
The night before the drawing the two men prepare slips for every household in the community–but not for every individual member of every household. The night before the lottery, Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves made up the slips of paper and put them in the box, and it was then taken to the safe of Mr.