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Theme of Tradition in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay

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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Americans day after day live much of their lives following time-honored traditions that are passed down from one generation to another. From simple everyday cooking and raising children, to holidays and other family rituals, tradition plays a significant role on how they go by there everyday lives. In Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery," the citizens of a small farming town follow one such tradition. A point is made regarding human nature in relation to tradition. The story begins on a beautiful summer afternoon. The town's citizens are eager, gathering in the town square in order to take part in the yearly lottery. With the story focused around one particular family, the Hutchinsons, who are so anxious to get it all over with until they find that one of their members is to participate in the lottery's closing festivities, Tessie. Of course unlike your typical lotteries, this is not one that you would want to win. The one chosen from the lottery is to undertake a cruel and unusual death by stoning at the hands of their fellow townsmen for the sake that it may bring a fruitful crop for the coming harvest season. Ironically, many of the towns people have suggested that the lottery be put to an end, but most find the idea unheard of being that they have lived in it's practice for most of their lives. The story conveys a message that traditions may be valued so highly that those in their practice may do everything they can to ensure that they continue in accordance. From this a question arises. How far would one go to ensure their sacred traditions remain unscathed?
For many, change is a cause for ignorance. Most of us fear the idea of change. When one is faced to deal with c...


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...ithdraw from the tradition because they do not know any other way. Can you imagine what life would be if there were no Christmas or Thanksgiving? For many cultures, tradition is the basis for their history. One example to this being the Hawaiian culture whose history was destroyed when they were forced to stop their ancient dances which told stories of their past. Adversely, tradition has played negative roles in society as well with the battle between the Muslims and Christians in many middle-eastern countries. Tradition plays many roles in today's society. Our goal should be to grasp the idea of what they really mean. We must not isolate ourselves to what we think we know, but instead allow ourselves to comprehend.




Bibliography:

PERRINE'S STORY AND STRUCTUE 9TH ED.
ARE, THOMAS R.
1998, HARCOURT-BRACE COLLEGE PUBLISHERS
FORT WORTH, TX




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