I read The Lottery in college, and it was one of my favorite short stories. Its author, Shirley Jackson, wrote it in 1948. And when The New Yorker published the story later that same year, Jackson received a firestorm of criticism, prompting this response from her:
"Explaining just what I had hoped the story to say is very difficult. I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives."
When I first read it back in the 70s, the story had a "twilight zone" feel to it--shocking, to say the least. But nonetheless, just a fictional story that leaves the reader somewhat breathless when the final twist takes hold.
As I ponder the creeping influences into our society, The Lottery fails to shock me, anymore. Instead, it leaves me with a sick feeling in my gut. See what you think by either reading at the link above or watching the short 2 part video below:
***Reading at Pam Gellar's site, Atlas Shrugs, reminded me of The Lottery. If you're a reader of hers, then you'll understand why.