The Lottery – Shirley Jackson
This short story was sad and tragic yet enticing. As you’d expect from 30 pages, not an awful lot happens but I think that is beside the point because it remains a very impressionable piece of literature with important messages that Jackson wished to express. I couldn’t quite justify giving it 5 stars merely because short stories rarely satisfy me enough and this was no exception. Nevertheless, a brilliant little read, one that took me about only 30 minutes to get through, and I am definitely going to start looking into more Shirley Jackson if The Lottery was anything to go by
The story takes place in a small American village of about 300 inhabitants and starts out with a few children from the town collecting rocks and stones. It is the 27th June and the day of The Lottery, which is conducted by Mr Summers. Mr Summers emerges with a shabby black box where the names of everybody in the town are written on slips of paper and placed inside the box (like a lottery). The majority of the tale is the leading up to finding out who gets picked out of the box and becomes the unfortunate person to accept their fortune. I won’t discuss anything about what it is their fortune consists of because that would be a major spoiler and seriously take away from the book. However, something I will mention is that there are specific points in the beginning that act as foreshadowing which make for a really well thought out story.
We learn little to nothing about the characters but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it allows for more emphasis on the story which is, personally, where most of the significance lies. Arguably, the lack of character detail could easily be a reflection of the kind of society in which the book is set; where the fear of losing someone means you become careless and disconnected. For those who don’t know, it is said that The Hunger Games was heavily influenced by The Lottery and, once you’re aware of this, I think it’s very easy to identify the similarities between them.
Altogether, it shaped up to be a rather good story. I’m well aware that this review is far shorter than my others but this book is far shorter than the other books I’ve read! I also don’t want to dive too much into the plot because I think it’d be better to go in knowing less and discovering the story yourself. This review is more my way of suggesting you read it than an actual critical book review! It’s so quick and easy that it shouldn’t take too much time out of your day for a all-round brilliant tale that truly packs a punch!
Happy Reading Bookworms!