| Quote #1
The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o'clock. (1)
This passage establishes the village as generic – it has a square, a post office, and a bank, all quite ordinary fixtures of a small town.
| Quote #2
The lottery was conducted – as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program – by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities. (4)
The lottery occupies the same position in this society as does square dances, the teen club, and the Halloween program. This is one of those details that become horrible only once you discover the purpose of the lottery.
| Quote #3
"Well, now." Mr. Summers said soberly, "guess we better get started, get this over with, so's we can go back to work. " (10)
This is a hard-working society. So hard-working, in fact, that murdering one of their members needs to take place on a timetable.