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But this illusion alone does not account for the full force of the lottery over the village.The lottery also reinforces a village work ethic which distracts the villagers' attention from the division of labor that keeps women powerless in their homes and Mr. name if there ever was one) emerges as an apologist for this work ethic when he recalls an old village adage, "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon" (p. At one level, the lottery seems to be a modern version of a planting ritual that might once have prepared the villagers for the collective work necessary to produce a harvest.These three most powerful men who control the town, economically as well as politically, also happen to administer the lottery. Fourth, this work ethic prevents them from understanding that the lottery's actual function is not to encourage work of labor.
Summers' conduct as their representative--reveal the class interest that lies behind it.
No mere "irrational" tradition, the lottery is an . Martin steadies the lottery box as the slips are stirred (p. In the off season, the lottery box is stored either at their places of business or their residences: "It had spent on year in Mr. That such a relationship does exist is suggested by one of the most revealing lines of the text.
It serves to reinforce the village's hierarchical social order by instilling the villages with an unconscious fear that if they resist this order they might be selected in the next lottery. Graves' barn and another year underfoot in the post-office, and sometimes it was set on a shelf in the Martin grocery and left there" (p. Who controls the town, then, also controls the lottery. When Bill Hutchinson forces his wife Tessie to open her lottery slip to the crowd, Jackson writes, "It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr.
Graves, the village's second most powerful government official--its postmaster. First, the lottery's rules of participation reflect and codify a rigid social hierarchy based upon an inequitable social division of labor.
(His name may suggest the gravity of officialism.) And beneath Mr. Martin, who has the economically advantageous position of being the grocer in a village of three hundred. Second, the fact that everyone participates in the lottery and understands that their commitment to a work ethic will grant them some magical immunity from selection.