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The Lottery

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  47,976 ratings  ·  2,302 reviews
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is a memorable and terrifying masterpiece, fueled by a tension that creeps up on you slowly without any clear indication of why. This is just a townful of people, after all, choosing their numbers for the annual lottery. What's there to be scared of?
Paperback, Tale Blazers, 30 pages
Published 1990 by Perfection Learning (first published June 26th 1948)
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Eve Way to spoil it! lol.

i think the bigger question is of "collective guilt". (since the short story was from 1948, after The Holocaust & it was…more
Way to spoil it! lol.

i think the bigger question is of "collective guilt". (since the short story was from 1948, after The Holocaust & it was examining social coercions in small towns).

Like when we build ghettos in our country, like in Chicago (i live in a suburb of it btw), is the mayor as guilty for the murders as the people who fire the shots? Is the media, supported by the folks in power, as guilty for capitalizing on it, (since news broadcasts are actually entertainment, hence why we don't hear about activism & how we can treat/remedy the murderous lottery of Chiraq). Are advertisers making blood money from slots on these programs?

Also consider how we (& admittedly other global superpowers, like Russia & China) exploit other parts of the world, like an empire, via (cultural) hegemony & outright war, or supporting groups of war.

Also USA is basically an arms dealer, so we stir up conflicts to sell weapons either to other countries or to our own. that's basically why we won world war 1 & 2 (technically the same war, but with a 20 year ceasefire).

Do (USA) citizens have (millions of) other people's blood on their hands because of the actions/inactions of their government?(less)
Black Bones maybe these :)

"My pledge of allegiance (The sealed fate)" by After forever
"World of fantasy" by Helloween
"Killing in the name of" by Rage against the…more
maybe these :)

"My pledge of allegiance (The sealed fate)" by After forever
"World of fantasy" by Helloween
"Killing in the name of" by Rage against the machine(less)

Community Reviews

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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  47,976 ratings  ·  2,302 reviews

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Oct 23, 2015 rated it liked it

I read this for my English class at CEGEP and started a required essay on it. It seriously made me think of The Hunger Games at first, but now I'm more focused on another message: how blindly people in society can follow certain rules/traditions/rituals without questioning them. I love how unprecise the setting is, making us realize that it is something that can happen anywhere and adds a feeling of timelessness to the story. The characters are boring, but I like how Tessie has something to say
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Science Imitating Art

Jackson’s story was published in 1948. At the time, and since, it has been praised as insightful and criticised as obscure. But almost 20 years later, the French philosopher, Rene Girard, produced a theory which has a remarkable congruence with its theme and, I think, provides the best explanation of what Jackson was getting at in The Lottery.

Girard argued that our individual desires are never the product of some inner longing but always rather of the imitation of others. We
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This short story is my second classic short story this year and was first published in 1948, yet the story it told is timeless. It is also horrific.

The story begins in a happy, cheerful day late in June (the 27th) which is traditionally the day for the Lottery. This tradition has been going on annually for many years – even the oldest citizen in the town recalls that it had been occurring since before he could remember.

Although some people are talking about other nearby towns that no longer have
Jan 07, 2012 rated it liked it
A classic of stoic, gothic horror yet with a twist that leaves the reader thinking.

Like any great short story, this demonstrates the power of that medium by brutal efficiency. Subtle, but the Lottery also reveals Jackson's talent for characterization.

A chilling allegory: there is value in tradition but beware blind faith.

Huda Yahya

المراجعة بها حرق للأحداث
يبدو مشهدا عاديا للغاية
فأهل قرية صغيرة قد التفوا في يوم اليانصيب السنوي الذي يبدو شيئا معتادا وجالبا لكثير من الفرحة والتوقعات
ولكن الأمر ليس كما يبدو
ليس كما يبدو على الاطلاق

القرية التي تبدو مسالمة وهادئة بأطفالها ونسائها ورجالها
هي في حقيقتها قرية مسعورة
فهذا الاحتفال السنوي وروتين سحب الأوراق
ليس للسحب على جائزة

إنه وكما نكتشف مع السطور الأخيرة لتقديم أضحية من نوع ما
فهو ليس بطقس ديني
بل الأمر لا يعرف له سببا سوى هذا التعطش الواضح للدماء
وهو يبدو تقليدا راسخ
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cecily by: Apatt
A short story with a nasty sting, that leaves you questioning human nature. I also note now that this is review #666!

Like Ursula Le Guin’s The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas (which I reviewed HERE), it opens idyllically:
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 this case, for the annual public lottery. And like Omelas, there is
Elizabeth Sagan
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing

OK, so when I chose to read this story I knew it was going to be 1984 level. I expected something twisted and sick. But I was surprised by how twisted and sick it really was. I’m not going to talk about characters or style, these things don’t matter. Anyone with some talent could have written it (even though I loved how normal it all seemed until the end, it fooled me big time). Nah, it’s only about the the message. And for the message alone it deserves 5 stars!
Ahmad Sharabiani
Lottery, Shirley Jackson
The Lottery is a short story by Shirley Jackson written mere months before its first publication, in the June 26, 1948 issue of The NewYorker. The story describes a fictional small town which observes an annual ritual known as "the lottery".
عنوانها: قرعه کشی؛ بخت آزمایی، لاتاری، نویسنده: شرلی جکسون، تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و پنجم ماه جولای سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: قرعه کشی؛ نویسنده: شرلی جکسون، مترجم: احمد گلشیری؛ در 15 ص
عنوان : بخت آزمایی، ترجمه و نقد: فاطمه فولادی و مریم
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2018
A short and suspenseful cautionary tale demonstrating that observing traditions is not always a pleasant and favorable affair. Not as shocking as some modern day literary offerings, but it packs a lot of punch for such a short story.
Tammy Walton Grant
How do you rate something that keeps you from sleeping?

I know that I thought it was brilliantly done; Jackson set the tone so well. She paints a bright, cheerful picture to start. It's a beautiful sunny day and the whole town is gathering, like for a town picnic. They're drawing for something, you think, I wonder what that is.

It's not until the 5th last paragraph that Jackson pulls the rug out from under your feet - and so quickly that I had to re-read the pivotal line about three times before
Magrat Ajostiernos
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Perturbador, siniestro, genial.
Ahmed  Ejaz
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, 2019
"People ain’t the way they used to be."
I've seen this short story a lot of times before and don't know why couldn't pick this up. It's full of tension! I haven't read a story having that much tension. There was no specific world and character building but still it managed to keep me interested.

There's a lottery happens on annual basis. And the entire village has to take part in it. And it's a whole different kind of lottery than we see nowadays. That's all I can tell you without spoiling. (
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"It isn't fair"

Brilliant. While reading this I wondered if this little short piece of works was the inspiration for the Hunger Games and I see that I am not alone in this thinking as other reviewers have said the same thing as well.

For such a short story she sure packed in the suspense and feeling of dread. The anxiety of having to draw and be the one with the black dot on your paper.

Kevin Ansbro
This seemingly innocuous short story wafted into my consciousness with a halcyon pastoral scene; an English village on a summer's day, suffused with the scent of blossoming flowers and fresh-cut grass. I could almost taste the cucumber sandwiches and the jam scones.
But there is a deeper level to the seemingly twee storyline. An allegory stealthily unfolds that immediately put me in mind of The Lord of the Flies.
Shirley Jackson's fictitious village, like the island in William Golding's book, seem
Petra Eggs
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Really hackneyed dystopian story that has been written a thousand times. (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-story
3.5 Stars
What a quirky and strange short story describing a fictional small town which observes an annual ritual known as "the lottery". Less is certainly more in the case of this short story as its one of those books that certainly makes you think outside the box and packs a punch in its delivery.

I like a little dystopian every now and then and this one I found quite strange and eerie and yet its message in many ways is played out in modern society every day. The power of this story for me
راجع به ترجمه ی احمد گلشیری، هر چی بگم کم گفتم. نثر بسیار بسیار روون، کاملاً مسلط به زبان، استفاده از کلمات درست. به نظرم یکی از بهترین مترجم های حال حاضره.

اما تمام این ها ربطی به داستان نداشت.
راجع به داستان هر چی بگم، لو میره و تمام زیباییش از بین میره. صفحات داستان خیلی زیاد نیست و فقط ده دوازده صفحه است و در عرض ده دقیقه می تونید بخونید، ولی لذتش، تا مدت ها باقی میمونه. فقط توصیه میکنم قبلش مقدمه ی داستان رو نخونید. همچنین هیچ ریویویی رو نخونید، مطلقا، و حتی کامنت های همین ریویو هم تا حدّی لو
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ﻣﻴﮕﻦ ﺟﻮﻭﻧﺎ ﺧﺎﻡ ﻭ ﺍﺣﻤﻘﻦ ﻭ ﺳﻨﺖ ﻫﺎ ﺭﻭ ﻣﻴﺸﻜﻨﻦ ﻭ ﺻﺮﻓﺎ ﻗﺎﺗﻞ ﺳﻨﺖ ﻫﺎﻥ . ﺍﺯ ﺍﻳﻨﻜﻪ ﻳﻚ ﺟﻮﻭﻥ ﺍﺣﻤﻖ ﻭ ﺳﻨﺖ ﺷﻜﻦ ﺗﻮﻱ ﺍﻳﻞ ﻭ ﻃﺎﻳﻔﻪ ﺍﻡ ﻫﺴﺘﻢ ﻭ ﻫﻤﻴﺸﻪ ﺑﻮﺩﻡ ﺑﻪ ﺧﻮﺩﻡ ﺍﻓﺘﺨﺎﺭ ﻣﻴﻜﻨﻢ .ﺯﻧﺪﮔﻲ ﺟﻮﺍﻥ ﺍﻣﺮﻭﺯﻱ ﻧﺒﺎﻳﺪ ﺑﺎ ﻫﺮ ﺳﻨﺖ ﻛﻮﻛﻮﺭﺍﻧﻪ ﻱ ﻗﺪﻳﻤﻲ ﺍﻱ ﺑﻪ ﺳﻴﺎﻫﻲ ﻛﺸﻴﺪﻩ ﺑﺸﻪ ...
ﺍﻳﻦ ﺣﺴﻲ ﺑﻮﺩ ﻛﻪ ﺑﻌﺪ ﺧﻮﻧﺪﻥ ﺍﻳﻦ ﺩﺍﺳﺘﺎﻥ ﻛﻮﺗﺎﻩ ﺩﺍﺭﻡ ...

ﺗﻠﺦ ﻭ ﻛﻮﺗﺎﻩ ﻭ ﻭﺣﺸﻴﺎﻧﻪ ﺑﻮﺩ ! ﻟﻄﻔﺎ ﻧﺨﻮﺍﻧﻴﺪ ! ﺧﻄﺮ ﺧﻮﺭﺩ ﺷﺪﻥ ﺍﻋﺼﺎﺏ ﺭﺍ ﺩﺭ ﭘﻲ ﺩﺍﺭﺩ !
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015

After reading my first novel by Shirley Jackson ("We Have Always Lived In The Castle"), I came across references to a 'famous' short story that started a major hubbub in the newspaper that first published it. Unfortunately, I also came across spoilers for what the story is about, so it's impact was somewhow lessened.
Thus, I will not review it here, hoping some other reader might still come with a fresh mind to it.

I will only mention it is worth reading, it shows the author's distinctive touch of
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Matthias by: Traveller
Shelves: my-reviews
If lotteries are supposed to be so fair, why don't they ever feel that way?

I just re-read this story as it is the first one in the Brave New Worlds collection. I gave it an extra star as a result. Knowing exactly what's going to happen gives reading this an additional dimension of eeriness, so I'd definitely recommend reading and coming back to this one at a later date. Not only because of its major influence on later dystopias, but also because of the way it draws you in. In the course of just
James Trevino
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story made me think of two things.

1. Baby wipes can be used in more situations than I thought **wink wink**. No, but seriously, the ending made me spit my coffee. I love it but it is f**ked up. And wrong. And stupid, but fitting as hell. And I still love it. Shirley Jackson is a genius!

2. That Lady Gaga Judas video. Now, anyone who hasn’t read this will ask the most obvious question: WHY? But I can’t answer without spoiling the entire thing. Well, actually I can, here it is: (view spoiler)
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this story years ago in my literature class. The village scenes lulled me. The ending shocked me. I still remember it all these years later. The only other story to remain in my memories so strongly is The Yellow Wallpaper. ...more
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing

El cuento es una auténtica maravilla, pero eso ya lo saben todos los que lo han leído y únicamente cabe invitar a los demás a que pasen y lean. Pero no es esto lo que venía a decir aquí.

El relato lo leí en la edición de Cuentos escogidos que publicó la editorial minúscula. En este mismo volumen se recoge una conferencia de la autora acerca de la repercusión que tuvo la publicación del cuento en The New Yorker. Una conferencia tan perturbadora como los relatos, en la que, al mismo tiempo que se
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
I found out about this book from Annamaria's book video. She gave no spoilers away, but I thought I knew what The Lottery was going to be about and I wanted to read it.

If you read The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, you, too, know what this book is about, although The Lottery was published a few years before Ursula K. Le Guin's book.


That is one question you do not want this book to give you an answer to.

There is one town where there's an annual lottery and all the people have to take part (
Geri Reads
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I should thank my high school lit teacher for making us read this story and scaring the shit out of us back then. I still read this from time to time and I've recommended it to a bunch of friends and it still manages to creep the hell out of me.

And while there had been many other stories with similar premise (sort of) since then, The Lottery still stands as one of the yardstick in this genre. It's only about 30 pages long but the story itself is rich in symbolism, proving that less is more. I h
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shirley Jackson's classic short story The Lottery is perhaps the basis for The Hunger Games, which is hardly a favorite of mine. Jackson use of prose has me at the edge of my seat and has be eagerly awaiting the ending. The use of language merits a 5 but for me the story is grotesque so the whole story earns a 3. I can see here, however, why Jackson is highly regarded as an author, but her stories are most definitely not my taste.
Fortunato chi (non) vincerà

Cosa contraddistingue la Jackson da altri autori del genere horror?
Semplicemente l'ambiguità del male, lo straniamento che si prova nel momento in cui il lettore si sforza di identificarne la fonte e le motivazioni dietro ad esso.
Siamo tutti portatori di contraddizioni; viviamo di piccole azioni malevoli che ci possano offrire un minimo di benessere psicologico.
Questo tipo di orrore non può essere arginato: è nella nostra natura agire attraverso il male e il riscatto
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this short story again recently and was struck, as ever, by Jackson's mastery. It's only about 10 pages long, and every word is perfect. It would make my list of the best short stories ever written.

"The Lottery" opens in a village in late June, and the 300 citizens are assembling in the town square. Each family stands together and the head of the household must draw a piece of paper from a black box. We learn that the lottery has something to do with a good harvest, but the true meaning o
My next Halloween read that for years I wanted to get to. A decent read but I wanted more. Why was there even a lottery? I can see where Jackson was going with this one, and I enjoy her stories, but it just left me wishing she elaborated. I believe this one heavily influenced The Hunger Games, which was also influenced by the movie Battle Royale (especially vicious). An OK read, but I much prefer her We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
Rachel Reads Ravenously
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rachel Reads Ravenously by: Geri Reads
Well that was a bit of a mindfuck! I asked on Facebook for horror recommendations and Geri rec'd me this one. Geri, I'll be sending you the bill for my new therapy sessions after this! Jkjk.

The Lottery starts out innocently, in fact if I hadn't known it was a horror/spooky story I never would have suspected it would go where it did. Considering this is only a few pages it's one of the best written short stories I've ever read. I have got to read more by this author.

Are you intrigued? I DARE you
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Shirley Jackson was an influential American author. A popular writer in her time, her work has received increasing attention from literary critics in recent years. She has influenced such writers as Stephen King, Nigel Kneale, and Richard Matheson.

She is best known for her dystopian short story, "The Lottery" (1948), which suggests there is a deeply unsettling underside to bucolic, smalltown Ameri
“Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones.” 28 likes
“It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.” 6 likes
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