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Lottery Winnings

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Lottery Winnings

Mob mentality is when the minds of a group merge to form one way of thinking. Each person's interest can increase as a result, and they become less aware of the true nature of their actions. In Shirley Jackson's short story The Lottery she describes a chilling tale of how mob mentality can become part of the community's daily life. The story takes a turn for the worst when Bill Hutchinson seeming wins "the lottery" and his wife beings to panic saying, "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair." It is interesting to read as the lottery official determines how many people are in Bill Hutchinson's family that Tessie Hutchinson is willing to implicate that her older daughter draw with their family. The townspeople appear unfazed as the slips of paper are put back into the box for the second round. They almost seem anxious or excited to find out which one of the Hutchinson's has won the lottery. In this story it is a combination of both mob mentality and their culture. When talk turns to how other villages have stopped having a lottery Old Man Warner makes it clear that there is "Nothing but trouble in that, pack of young fools." It is obvious that the lottery is routed deep in their history as they are even unwilling to make a new box for the paper slips. As the story ends and Tessie Hutchinson has won the lottery it is apparent that mob mentality takes over as the lottery official says, "All right, folks, let's finish quickly." Without regard for the human life they are about to take the villagers begin to stone Mrs. Hutchinson. Even Mr. Hutchinson and the youngest son, Davey, throw stones.

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