For centuries, particular elements of society have excused blatantly senseless crimes against their fellow man and seen them as appropriate because they were ordered by someone in authority over them. This is very evident in Shirley Jacksons short story “The Lottery”. As the story opens, the people of a small town are preparing to hold a lottery. There is a feeling of excitement in the air, but the reader also senses a feeling of nervousness. The townspeople greet each other and make jokes while the preparations for the event of the day are completed. The lottery gets underway and soon the reader is hurled into the most unexpected turn of events. Instead of there being one winner and several hundred losers, there is one loser and several hundred winners. The shocking conclusion is the inexcusable cold-blooded murder of one of the townspeople by all of the others, including her own husband and children. There follows a sense of confusion by the reader; what is the!
purpose of this yearly event there is also a sense of wonder in trying to figure out what the author is attempting to say to the
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