Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Article / Essay » Review

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

by aeroman

I realize this isn't a book, but I think short stories should get reviews too because there are some fantastic short stories out there. This being one of them.

I was searching around the web for the next book I was going to read and I happened across a couple of sites that have just tons of novels, short stories, and novellas that you can sit there and read right off the site. Lol, I thought it was pretty fantastic. I won't have to spend money on books for quite a while.

But anyways, this, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, is the first short story I read off the site and the ending literally just shocked me. It's essentially about a small town in the early 1900's and a twist they play on a 'lottery' that the town holds every year. Everyone in the town participates and draws a slip of paper out of a black box. But for some reason everyone is nervous. Everyone is wondering who got 'the slip.'

It's really just a fantastic story. I won't give away the ending but here is the link to it -

This site has tons of short stories on it and so I may be reviewing more of them in the coming weeks. Enjoy the story!


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar

Points: 790
Reviews: 2

Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:45 pm
Kelsey wrote a review...

I read The Lottery this year, for class-reading. At the end, I was completely confused. And as a large class, we had the utmost difficulty trying to analyze the story. It was in our "utopian" unit. To this day, I still try to find out her overall message or theme.

User avatar
43 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 43

Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:02 am
Medusa says...

I own the shirley jackson book, which is a collection of short stories. She really is a great plot writer--although characteristically dry in style.

The story is awesome, though.

User avatar
402 Reviews

Points: 6517
Reviews: 402

Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:58 am
Clo says...

It's delightfully disturbing.

User avatar
5 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 5

Tue Nov 25, 2008 12:12 am
Jonny wrote a review...

Read this recently, and didn't like it. The story tries to build up the stoning to the highest point it will hold your interest. But the stoning is not innately interesting enough to stand up to the amount of drama Shirley Jackson puts on it. To little, to late. Nor is it weird or unique enough to justify this being a remarkable short story. It's just a natural, ugly fit. There is some nice foreshadowing, but I'm more of a reader on the rush, and I prefer to think about stories instead of researching them.

Of course, it's not a bad story, I just don't like it.

User avatar

Points: 890
Reviews: 3

Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:26 am

Oh I read this too (in the 8th grade). I loved it. The theme that we took from it was that traditions aren't always right. It left me totally speechless.

Random avatar

Points: 300
Reviews: 0

Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:55 pm
righting says...

cool, thanks I'll check it out.

User avatar
41 Reviews

Points: 1040
Reviews: 41

Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:17 pm
silverSUNLIGHTx says...

I read this in class just recently. It had a lot of symbolism and I thought it was very well written, and yes the ending did shock me. Overall I thought it was a really good story.

Random avatar

Points: 1176
Reviews: 56

Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:42 pm
thunder_dude7 says...

We had to analyze it and compare it to another story, The Lady or the Tiger, in English this year.

It's very well written.

User avatar
80 Reviews

Points: 1040
Reviews: 80

Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:38 am
adriangarcia says...

I loved "the Lottery." Jackson wrote an amazing short story! I highly suggesting reading this.

BTW, if I remember correctly she wrote this for the New York Times. It caused chaos among readers, which I bet was the intention!

User avatar
29 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 29

Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:03 pm
alicat159 wrote a review...

We had to do a small project on this in English a couple of months ago. Well, all we had to do was pick a phrase and draw a picture. Simple, but fun.
I kind of liked it. I have to say that i was kind of confused. It was the end of the day, though. I think the best part was the end. It was unexpected.


User avatar
7 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 7

Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:34 am
Passion's Killing Floor wrote a review...

I read it in my 10th grade english class. We also watched the movie. It disturbed me and I would never like to read it again. :( Though I do recommend reading it once. It's a great story to make you contemplate society and such.

User avatar
758 Reviews

Points: 5890
Reviews: 758

Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:25 am
Cade says...

I've always really liked the story. We make a big deal out of it at my high school because Shirley Jackson went there. Every year the library puts up a display of alumni authors and she gets her special place...

User avatar
220 Reviews

Points: 1478
Reviews: 220

Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:21 am
Sleeping Valor wrote a review...

I read this in class last year, or the year before. I didn't find It amazing, but it was an interesting read. The irony, of course, is that if it had been someone else she'd have gone along and hapily stonned them to death and ignored their cries. Self preservation and all that.

It's amazing, but in reality it's a sad truth that people can do just about anything without feeling it's right or wrong because they have been raised around it. I guess if you grow up with something, you get used to it and never think to question it.

It makes you think, so it's a pretty good read.

^_^ Keek

User avatar
29 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 29

Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:12 am
Stockmar wrote a review...

We had to interpret this story in theater. Our group did it as a "game show" where the "prize" was being stoned to death. scary. When I first read the story freshman year, it made me speechless. The thought of people setting up a system of "population control such as that is a terrifying thought. What really shocked me was the fact that the characters were completely fine with it. If you get chosen, you get chosen. No big deal. I wish I knew how the idea/necessity of population control came to the town. This story is a must read.

User avatar
2631 Reviews

Points: 5735
Reviews: 2631

Sun Sep 16, 2007 7:25 pm
Rydia says...

Thanks for the link, I love reading short stories so I'll probably pop over to the site at some point and rummage around.

pain is that feeling when you are feeling hurt, but it never goes away leaving me hurt. oh it hurts.
— Dragonthorn