Hypocrisy In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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In our society today, when we think of the word “lottery”, we often associate it with the very slim chance of winning a large sum of money, but however slim that chance is, the “lottery” is associated with something good in our society today. However, in the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, that is not the case. The short story is about a small village that is preparing for an annual ritual. The short story begins with a group of children collecting and gathering stones into a large pile. This seems innocent enough, but eventually it becomes apparent that the children’s gesture was not so innocent, after all. As time passes, the villagers begin to gather around a black box, which contains several small pieces of paper, and …show more content…
Within the short story, Tessie clearly demonstrates hypocrisy by first showing enthusiasm to participate in the lottery, but later deciding it was not fair, and going so far as trying to have her daughter and her daughter’s husband draw with the family, just to try and lower her chances of being chosen and ultimately killed. At the beginning, she is quite eager to participate in the lottery. She tells her husband, “Get up there, Bill!” (259) when it was his turn to draw a piece of paper for their family. This demonstrates her willingness and enthusiasm to participate in the lottery, as she is encouraging her husband, Bill, to hurry and draw for them. Up until this point, Tessie is indifferent, if not eager, about participating in the lottery; however, when it is clear that the Hutchison family was the “winner” of the lottery, Tessie is quick to have a change of mind regarding her enthusiasm to participate in the lottery. Shortly after Bill reveals that he had the piece of paper marked with a black dot, Tessie shouts at Mr. Summers, “You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!” (260). This is an obvious example of hypocrisy, seeing as Tessie was the one to hurry her husband into choosing, but then she accuses Mr. Summers of not letting Bill have enough time to choose properly. As the Hutchison family prepares to draw to find out who will be declared the “winner”, Tessie shouts out, “There’s Don and Eva, […] Make them take their chance!” (261). This is a clear example of hypocrisy, as Tessie was initially eager to participate in the lottery, but when she was selected, she was willing to blatantly sacrifice members of her own family, if it meant lowering her chances of being chosen for the

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