Look for a summary or analysis of this Story. The children assembled first, of course. 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.
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. The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. Look for a summary or analysis of this Story. Summers said, and Billy, his face red and his feet overlarge, near knocked the box over as he got a paper out. She hesitated for a minute, looking around defiantly, and then set her lips and went up to the box.
Summers said, and Bill Hutchinson reached into the box and felt around, bringing his hand out at last with the slip of paper in it. People ain’t the way they used to be. Graves opened the slip of paper and there was a general sigh through the crowd as he held it up and everyone could see that it was blank. There was a pause, and then Mr. Summers looked at Bill Hutchinson, and Bill unfolded his paper and showed it. Summers said, and his voice was hushed. Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company office.
Bill Hutchinson held it up, and there was a stir in the crowd. Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones. Delacroix selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar had small stones in both hands, and she said, gasping for breath. You’ll have to go ahead and I’ll catch up with you. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles. Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her.
A stone hit her on the side of the head. Steve Adams was in the front of the crowd of villagers, with Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her. Plot overview and analysis written by an experienced literary critic. Full study guide for this title currently under development. To be notified when we launch a full study guide, please contact us. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.