The Lottery and Its Controversy

The lottery is a game in which a person can win prizes based on chance. Prizes may be money or goods. Some people use the lottery to save money for their retirement or education. Others use it to buy a home or a car. It is a popular form of gambling that has been used for centuries. Despite its popularity, the lottery is also a source of controversy. There have been accusations of crookedness and corruption in the past. In the United States, it was illegal to run a lottery until 1868.

Lotteries are a type of taxation whereby a person is required to pay a small amount of money in order to have the opportunity to receive a large sum of money. During the Revolutionary War, colonial governments relied on lotteries to raise funds for the Colonial Army. It was a convenient and relatively painless way to collect taxes. Despite this, lotteries were widely criticized as being addictive and an unequal form of taxation. In addition, winning the lottery is very unlikely and there are many other ways to raise money that do not require risking one’s life or livelihood.

In the short story, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, a woman named Tessie Hutchinson wins the lottery and is stoned to death by her neighbors. Her story demonstrates how cruel people can be and shows that life is often unpredictable. The story was published in 1948, just after World War II. Its underlying theme is that it can be dangerous to follow tradition without questioning it.

When reading the story, it is important to notice how the characters are portrayed. The story begins with Mr. Summers, a man representing authority in the story, carrying out a black box. He stirs up the papers inside the box, revealing that this is an old tradition. The reader then hears the head of the Hutchinson family talk about how they will take care of their prize.

In this passage, the author portrays Tessie as a weak, vulnerable woman who is unable to stand up for herself. Tessie realizes that the lottery is unfair and unjust, but she does not oppose it before it turns against her. Tessie’s reaction catalyzes readers to question the arbitrary nature of fate and how easy it can be for some people to become sacrificial lambs. In the end, Tessie’s behavior reveals that not all communities are safe places to live. Regardless of how peaceful and idyllic a town may seem, there is always the possibility that evil will eventually arise from within its borders. It is vital that people question their own traditions and be willing to protest unethical behavior. If they are not, the future of humanity is at risk.