One of the most memorable dystopian short stories I've ever read is The Lottery. If you haven't read it, head over and read it now. Then come back for a discussion.
Probably the creepiest part of the whole story is the tone. The people in the village act like the lottery is completely normal, acceptable part of village life. Check out this sentence for example:
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.
As early as the second paragraph, though, you get a sense that something's not quite right when the boys busy themselves by gathering stones.
I think it's really effective how Jackson introduces Mrs. Hutchinson, the main character. She's late.
Just as Mr. Summers finally left off talking and turned to the assembled villagers, Mrs. Hutchinson came hurriedly along the path to the square, her sweater thrown over her shoulders, and slid into place in the back of the crowd. "Clean forgot what day it was," she said to Mrs. Delacroix, who stood next to her, and they both laughed softly.Doesn't bode well for her, does it? Of course, there's also the fact that Mrs. Hutchinson is just as into it as anyone until her family is chosen. And when she's the one in her family who gets the penciled x, it is chilling how her children react.
The children had stones already. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson few pebbles.FREAKY!
So what do you think?