Essay on Family and Tradition in The Lottery

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Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” published in 1948 takes place in a small village in New England. Upon first reading it would seem as though the lottery that took place in the village was a family friendly tradition that had been carried on for many years. However upon a closer look, it seems as if “family friendly” could be the wrong term to use to describe the lottery due to the nature of what takes place during this tradition. So, the question stands, is the lottery really a family friendly tradition in the village?
The tradition of the lottery had been around so long that it was never a question as to whether or not the children would participate. It was almost as if children were born into this long-standing tradition. The lottery always took place when “school was over for the summer” for the children so that families could participate together (Jackson 373). When it comes to the lottery, children participate, just as much as the adults do. The little boys would often run around “selecting the smoothest and roundest stones” to be used at the appropriate time in the lottery just as the parents and other villagers would (Jackson 373).
Another way that the children are involved in the lottery is the actual drawing process. In the event that the child’s family was the one chosen to provide the sacrifice, the child or children in that family would each have to draw a slip of paper from the lottery box to see who would be chosen. While the first way children were involved would probably be exciting for the kids, this way is simply sad and terrifying. However because they are kids it is probably unlikely that they understand exactly what is going on to begin with in the lottery other than the fact that they get the chance to thr...

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...tery should not be thought of as a family friendly event as Jackson presents it as. A family friendly event should constitute good wholesome fun, which teaches and implements proper morals and values, the lottery does not do that in any way, shape, or form.

Works Cited

Coulthard, A. R. “Jackon’s The Lottery.” Explicator. 48.3 (1990): 226. Print.
Du Bose, Thomas. “The Lottery.” Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-3. Literary Reference Center. Web. 15 April 2014.
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Literature The Human Experience. Richard Abcarian, Marvin Klotz, and Samuel Cohen. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. 373-379. Print.
Oehlschlaeger, Fritz. “The Stoning of Mistress Hutchinson: Meaning and Context in ‘The Lottery.’” Essays in Literature 15.2 (1988): 259-265. Print.
Yarmove, Jay A. “Jackson’s The Lottery.” Explicator 52.4 (1994): 242. Print.

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