Write a summary analyzing the connection between theme and setting in Jackson’s story “The Lottery.”

Write a summary analyzing the connection between theme and setting in Jackson’s story “The Lottery.” What is the theme of the story? What is the setting? Why does the author situate a story about ritual sacrifice in such an unlikely place and time? How does it relate to America’s past and present?

by Shirley Jackson

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny,
with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the
flowers were blossoming profusely and the
grass was richly green. The people of the village
began to gather in the square, between the post
office and the bank, around ten o’clock; in some
towns there were so many people that the lottery
took two days and had to be started on June
27th. But in this village, where there were only
about three hundred people, the whole lottery
took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten
o’clock in the morning and still be through in
time to allow the villagers to get home for noon

The children assembled first, of course. School
was recently over for the summer, and the
feeling of liberty sat uneasily on most of them;
they tended to gather together quietly for a
while before they broke into boisterous play and
their talk was still of the classroom and the
teacher, of books and reprimands. Bobby Martin
had already stuffed his pockets full of stones,
and the other boys soon followed his example,
selecting the smoothest and roundest stones;
Bobby and Harry Jones and Dickie Delacroix–
the villagers pronounced this name “Dellacroy”-
-eventually made a great pile of stones in one
corner of the square and guarded it against the
raids of the other boys. The girls stood aside,
talking among themselves, looking over their
shoulders at the boys, and the very small
children rolled in the dust or clung to the hands
of their older brothers or sisters.

Soon the men began to gather, surveying their
own children, speaking of planting and rain,
tractors and taxes. They stood together, away
from the pile of stones in the corner, and their
jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than
laughed. The women, wearing faded house
dresses and sweaters, came shortly after their

menfolk. They greeted one another and
exchanged bits of gossip as they went to join
their husbands. Soon the women, standing by
their husbands, began to call to their children,
and the children came reluctantly, having to be
called four or five times. Bobby Martin ducked
under his mother’s grasping hand and ran,
laughing, back to the pile of stones. His father
spoke up sharply, and Bobby came quickly and
took his place between his father and his oldest

The lottery was conducted–as were the square
dances, the teen club, the Halloween program–
by Mr. Summers who had time and energy to
devote to civic activities. He was a round-faced,
jovial man and he ran the coal business, and
people were sorry for him because he had no
children and his wife was a scold. When he
arrived in the square, carrying the black wooden
box, there was a murmur of conversation among
the villagers, and he waved and called, “Little
late today, folks.” The postmaster, Mr. Graves,
followed him, carrying a three- leg

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