The story entitled ``The lottery`` written by Shirley Jackson is set in a small town somewhere in New England. The town has about three hundred inhabitants and some major public institutions, including the bank and the post office. It seems to fallow old and deeply rooted traditions and customs which have also been preserved in many other similar places by local people. The story begins on a sunny day of June 27th. It is about ten o`clock a.m. and people, among whom children seem to play an important role as there are a lot of them, start to gather together in the town square. We can say that those children must have been there well before ten as they have collected stones of different sizes and put them together in piles. As we proceed reading the story we realize that this must be some kind of a special and eventful day and the lottery which is to take place in a while is a significant event in the village life and tradition. It is said to have been cultivated for many years and generations, so even the eldest resident remembers it even he was a child, not to mention the fact that it is present in other villages traditions as well. It can be surely seen as an event which cements all the community together, giving people the opportunity to meet, talk, gossip, and simply spend their time together before returning home for dinner. It is so clear to them that they even have a saying connecting the event with the rich harvest. On hearing that there are places where the lottery has been already banned, some people respond that it is something unimaginable, for it is a tradition which has been always present, adding that only utter fools could have rejected it. Mrs. Hutchinston, who is almost late for the opening of the game, finally wins the lottery.
As we hear her name as the one of the winner, we expect to see her face full of happiness. Yet, despite the fact that she was chosen from among three hundred villagers, she looks terrified and rejects her ``prize`` as not fair. Unfortunatelly for her, upon second drawing it is again her surname that is chosen. At last, we learn what the prize is, and what is the source of Mrs. Hutchinston`s supposedly irrational fear. The prize stands for being stoned to death. Now we learn why the village kids have collected the stones and why some surrounding towns have abandoned the sick tradition. The narrow-mindedness, a deeply rooted folk tradition, and total lack of reasoning make these village people forget about the value of human life. They are even unable to trace back the origin of the lottery. They do not question tradition and history, even though it is rotten and totally barborous. They are too conservative to accept any change, because for them a change equals something bad and unacceptable. After having read the story we perceive the community as pathetic and narrow-minded. The only way to stop the inhumane tradition is either let the young generation take over the power and introduce some fundamental changes or let the village hold the event for as long as everybody will be stoned to death and the barbarous tradition will die its natural death.