CONFLICT AND ELEMENTS OF THE PLOT
The Lottery is held annually in an unnamed
town of 300 people. It starts out as a
seemingly joyful town gathering, with
children playing and the adults talking in
groups. With only a hint of tension and
nervousness in the air, and a mention of the
boys putting stones into a pile, do we have
some foreshadowing as what may happen. As
the story unfolds, we learn that tradition is
what keeps the lottery going from one year to
the next with no real meaning or purpose.
Old and young alike expect it, and balk at the
idea of ever changing it.
• 1.) EXPOSITION: “The morning of June 27th was clear and Sunny…..The People of the village
began to gather in the square.”
• 2.) Rising Action: “little late today, folks.”…….the stool was put in the center of the square
and Mr. Summers set the black box down on it.”
• 3.) Climax: “It’s Tessie,” Mr. Summers said, and his voice was hushed. “show us her paper,
• 4.) Falling action: “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black
box, they still remembered to use the stones. The pile of stones the boys had made earlier
was ready; there were stones on the ground with the blowing scraps of paper that had come
out of the box.”
• 5.) Conclusion: “it isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were
ANALYSIS FROM THE STORY “THE LOTTERY”
“Bobby martin had already stuffed his pockets full of
stones, and the other boys soon followed his example,
selecting the smoothest and roundest stones.
Foreshadowing in the story of the lottery. A large pile of stones in the corner of town square.
The entire literary piece is littered with foreshadowing elements. From the black box that is used to draw the names
from, it is depicted like a coffin that the townspeople are apprehensive to help set up. To the black spot on a single piece
of paper, depicting the mark of death for the unlucky person who choses it. When Mr. Summers which is evident the
lottery happens in June, is followed by Mr. Graves to set up the three legged stool, this is foreshadowing that someone
will wind up six feet under. The largest piece to this puzzle was the pile of rocks in the corner of town square that people
stayed far back from, wondering if they would be used by them or for them.
“Little late today, folks. The postmaster, Mr. Graves,
followed him, carrying a three legged stool, and the stool
was put in the center of town square and Mr. Summers
set the black box down on it.
Rising action, Mr. Summers declares the lottery as open. Lists of every family
member are drawn up, everyone assembles in the town square.
The Rising Action begins when the black box is produced and placed in the town square for all the townspeople
to see. Mr. Summers begins the drawing by stirring the papers within the black box. Each person is called up to
draw a slip of paper out of the box. The rising action concludes when everyone has drawn a slip of paper out of
“Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.' First
thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns.
There's always been a lottery,“ – Old Man Warner
What Old Man Warner says really exemplifies the conflict in the story. The townspeople know that
the lottery is not right. They have to decide if doing something for the good of the many out
weighs the pain it will cause that one person. Old Man Warner talks about how it’s always been
done so they should continue doing it. This also echo's the conflict within the story. The people
have to decide if they will continue this tradition even if they don’t understand why they are doing
"I think we ought to start over," Mrs. Hutchinson said, as
quietly as she could. "I tell you it wasn't fair. You didn't give
him time enough to choose. Everybody saw that."
In this case Tessi is the “man” part of the conflict and the towns people are the “society”
that is against her. Tessi can’t believe that she or her family has been chosen. She pleads
her case to her fellow townspeople and her own family. It falls on deaf ears as the towns
people start pelting her with rocks.
• The highest peak of interest the reader has
is when the people in the town start
unfolding their slips and we see that Bill
has drawn the marked slip.
“Then the voices began to say, “It’s Hutchinson, It’s
Bill.” “Bill Hutchinson’s got it.”
The falling action takes place after the reader sees that
the Hutchinson family will be drawing from the box.
One by one they draw and then reveal their slips. This
is where we see that Tessie has drawn the marked slip.
“Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip
of paper out of her hand. There was a black spot on it, the
black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with a
heavy pencil in the coal company office.”
• The denouement is when Tessie
is stoned by her community.
“Tessie Hutchinson was in the center
of a cleared space by now, and she
held her hands out desperately as the
villagers moved in on her.”
TYPE OF ENDING
• The ending of this story feels abrupt, but it plays off of how the lottery is held.
Everything is done quickly so that the villagers may return home in time for lunch.
• This ending is not a happy one, or at least not for Tessie, but it works for the story.
The reader is expecting that someone is to be stoned before the story ends, or it
would feel incomplete.
• Though it is not pleasant, the ending is very affective for the story; it wraps up the
plot and is easy to transition to after experiencing the rising and falling action.
• Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery--Shirley Jackson." "The Lottery" (1948) (n.d.): n. pag.
• "The Lottery." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Aug. 2009. Web. 16 Oct. 2014.
• dp. Davincischools.org