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The Midnight Society: The Lottery Introduction

Monday, October 5, 2020

Welcome to week 2 of The Midnight Society! This week we'll be reading the creepy, unsettling tale "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. 

If you've never read this story before, do yourself a favor and don't look up anything about it before you read; just dive right in! If you have read it before, I hope you love revisiting it and that it scares you as much as it did the first time you read it. It's interesting to note that this story was first published in The New Yorker, and it still holds the record of generating the most mail in the history of the magazine. It's reported that hundreds of readers cancelled their subscriptions following the publication of "The Lottery," and The New Yorker editors received letters that called the story "outrageous," "gruesome," and "utterly pointless." If that's not enough to draw you in, I don't know what is! 


What you need to join in the fun this week:

- Here is where you can find the text of the story. 

- If you prefer a read aloud, you can hear it here

- When you are finished reading, check out this short film adaptation of the story. 

Something I'd like you to think about as you read: do you see any themes or ideas from this story in any more modern works you've read? 

As always, whether you use candlelight, campfire (real or pretend), or darkness to read, set the stage for yourself! I look forward to seeing you back here on Thursday for our discussion of this creepy story. 


I've been teaching "The Lottery" for a few years, so I can't quite remember all the sources I've used to learn about Shirley Jackson and this story, but two I know for sure are here and here

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