in the topic ,to write a coherent, thesis-driven essay that is grounded in Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.” That is, you must use specific examples and quotations to support your thesis statement.


  1.  Written in 1948, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a chilling short story about a small town which has a tradition of randomly selecting someone in the town to be stoned to death. Jackson uses simple objects—a box, some stones, some slips of paper— that serve as symbols to highlight her view of these traditions in the society.  Choose one of these objects, as well as the setting and characterization, and in a 3-page essay, analyze and explain what you believe Shirley Jackson is suggesting about rituals and tradition in “The Lottery”?  Is there some ritual in our present society that you think ought to be dropped—or at least reconsidered and modified      
  2. Write a three-page essay analyzing the story and discussing the specific ways in which you feel your feelings were manipulated or not by Shirley Jackson.


    Remember:  You are not just answering questions. You must use the questions to create a coherent essay that states your position in a thesis statement and uses quotes and examples as support.



    • Three pages
    • Double-spaced
    • 12 point font
    • Includes quotes from the play to support all examples and cite the page numbers from where each quote came. (MLA)
    • No Dead words such as: good, bad, really, a lot, things, well, anyway(s), kind of, sort or, get/got, basically, I think, in my opinion, in conclusion – do not use in your essay.