Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” tells a story of a tradition passed on from one generation to the next that has allowed ritual murder to become a part of the town’s history. “The Lottery” shows that these traditions have the ability to destroy a society. “The Lottery” exhibits the dangers of blindly following unexamined traditions. The perils of blindly following unexamined rituals are demonstrated when the people gather in the square while the children gather stones, when Bill Hutchinson willingly gives up his wife without a second thought, and when Tessie Hutchinson is stoned. The first example of the danger of blindly following unexamined traditions is the mob mentality shown by the people who gather in the square while the children collect
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Screaming, yelling, and screeching emerge from Tessi Hutchinson, but the town remains hushed as they continue to cast their stones. Reasonably Tessi appears as the victim, but the definite victim is the town. This town, populated by rational people, stones an innocent woman because of a lottery. To make matters worse, no one in the town fathoms why they exterminate a guiltless citizen every June. The town’s inexplicable behavior derives from following an ancient, ludicrous tradition. With the omission of one man, no one in the community comprehends the tradition. In the case of “The Lottery,” the town slays an irreproachable victim each year because of a ritual. Shirley Jackson exposes the dangers of aimlessly following a tradition in “The Lottery.” Jackson not only questions the problem, but through thorough evaluation she an deciphers the problem as well.
In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” the theme of the story is dramatically illustrated by Jackson’s unique tone. Once a year the villagers gather together in the central square for the lottery. The villagers await the arrival of Mr. Summers and the black box. Within the black box are folded slips of paper, one piece having a black dot on it. All the villagers then draw a piece of paper out of the box. Whoever gets the paper with the black dot wins. Tessie Hutchinson wins the lottery! Everyone then closes in on her and stones her to death. Tessie Hutchinson believes it is not fair because she was picked. The villagers do not know why the lottery continues to exist. All they know is that it is a tradition they are not willing to abandon. In “The Lottery,” Jackson portrays three main themes including tradition, treason, and violence.
Tradition; it is the back bone of every culture and civilization. It is what keeps the beliefs, philosophies, and activities of societies alive, to be passed down from generation to generation. However not all traditions are practiced with pure intentions. Some activities become so routine, people don’t know a life outside of them. Societies become so accustomed to “tradition” that they will participate in pastimes without questioning the ethics or morals of the situation. Ultimately when tradition takes the place of a rationalizing mind the outcome can be incredibly dangerous. The role of tradition is an underlying theme in the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, forcing readers to ask themselves “At what point do people set tradition aside and realize the thoughtlessness of their actions in their practices?”
Why would a civilized and peaceful town would ever suggest the horrifying acts of violence can take place anywhere at anytime and the most ordinary people can commit them. Jackson's fiction is noted for exploring incongruities in everyday life, and “The Lottery”, perhaps her most exemplary work in this respect, examines humanity's capacity for evil within a contemporary, familiar, American setting. Noting that the story’s characters, physical environment, and even its climactic action lacks significant individuating detail, most critics view “The Lottery.” As a modern-day parable or fable, which obliquely addresses a variety of themes, including the dark side of human nature, the danger of ritualized behavior, and the potential for cruelty when the individual submits to the mass will. Shirley Jackson also addresses cruelty by the citizen’s refusal to stand up and oppose “The Lottery.” Violence and cruelty is a major theme in “The Lottery.”
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 in how they go about their 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.
Tradition is huge in small towns and families and allows for unity through shared values, stories, and goals from one generation to the next. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” carries that theme of tradition. The story follows a small town that performs the tradition of holding an annual lottery in which the winner gets stoned to death. It (tradition) is valued amongst human societies around the world, but the refusal of the villagers in “The Lottery” to let go of a terrifying long-lasting tradition suggests the negative consequences of blindly following these traditions such as violence and hypocrisy.
In “The Lottery”, an outdated tradition puts one person at eminent irrefutable death per year. What are some outdated traditions that exist today? Do any of them relate to the extremity of this tradition? “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is based on outdated traditions. The biggest idea of this story is that one person is sacrificed per year because it is the tradition. In the black box, there are blank slips of paper but only one has a black dot. Tessie Hutchinson chose the slip of paper that had this dot which meant that the rest of the town stoned her to death, for it was part of their tradition. This story includes biblical references such as comparison to the specific story of "The Adulterous Woman", connections to the Bible in Mrs. Delacroix's
There are many short stories that exploit the human nature, and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is no exception. This short story takes place in a small town that has a tradition of having a lottery draw every year. However, no one would have expected that the winner of the lottery would actually be a loser. The man of the family goes up and draws a paper for their family, if the paper has a black scribble in the middle of it, that person’s family was chosen. Then, everyone in that family, excluding daughters who were married, drew a paper. Whoever drew the black scribbled paper would have “won.” In this case, Mr. Hutchinson drew for their family and got the black scribbled on paper. Immediately, Mrs. Hutchinson started complaining, which was strange, who would complain about winning? Of course, everyone in that family of five drew a paper. Mrs. Hutchinson ended up drawing the paper that was scribbled on, and her “prize” was that everyone in the town would now pelt her with a bunch of pebbles or stones.
The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a fictional story set in a small town in New England. As identified in the story, the members of the small town usually observe an annual ritual recognized as the lottery. This is similar to other towns around it that also follow the ritual. In the beginning of the story, the practice seems innocent and fascinating as the members of the community prepare themselves for its beginning of the lottery. At one point, the people even make jokes as seen where Mrs. Hutchinson is late for the ritual, as she had forgotten. However, it is soon revealed that the ritual is a means of the villagers randomly killing one of their own by random selection of the lottery. Clearly, in “The Lottery”, Jackson portrays
“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson illustrates the adverse effects traditions can have on society. Jackson reflects through historical allusions that blindly following tradition is detrimental to the advancement of society. Utilizing the ancient laws and traditions of the Aztecs and Babylonians, a connection can be established to “The Lottery” by the limiting of resources, deaths and family against family that both societies exhibit.
The Lottery begins by the action of the children in the town gather first and collect stones, then the adults arrive, and they chatting with each other for a while before they call the children back to the order. The lottery is the process to find a person win the lottery, and that can be anyone from the village. The ritual start at ten a clock in the morning and is conducted by Mr. Summer, who “had time and energy to devote to civic activities” of this small town (Shirley 13). After the random of papers selection which is done by the “heads of households in each family”from the black box, Bill Hutchinson gets the winning ticket (Shirley 14). However, the winner does not seem as happy as they should. Mrs. Hutchinson starts arguing
The blind following of ritual in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is shocking by the way the villagers participate in “The Lottery” without realizing what is actually happening, but no more so than the mindless rituals noticed by modern society. Although some villagers may ask questions about “The Lottery,” they all participate in it. They become unthinking members of a crowd, giving up their choice to do otherwise and sending Tessie Hutchinson to her death. I believe that society had become so used to violence, that they were numb to it and thought it was something they had to do. At first, the reader is given a title that makes the reader believe that someone is going to win something such as money or some kind of prize, although it is far
Set in 1948 and published in The New Yorker, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson describes a village ritual of sacrifice. Contrary to the positive feeling associated with the word “lottery,” the story strikes fear into the readers’ hearts as the winner is stoned to death. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” uses symbolism and genre conventions of a classic dystopian story to show the different ways in which human cruelty can occur.
Shirley Jackson’s “Lottery” satirically creates a society that puts the importance of tradition above even the life of the members of the community, as indicated by Old Man Warner’s response to Mr. Adams stating, “‘[O]ver in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery.’ Old Man Warner snorted. ‘Pack of crazy fools … Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them … There’s always been a lottery,’ he added petulantly” (413). Here Old Man Warner defends the tradition of their society, though notably without justifying the tradition. Rather, he focuses on the people of other villages and the tradition as self-evident, both logical fallacies. The first argument he makes in favor of continuing to have a lottery is an ad
In Shirley Jackson’s "The Lottery," what appears to be an ordinary day in a small town takes an evil turn when a woman is stoned to death after "winning" the town lottery. The lottery in this story reflects an old tradition of sacrificing a scapegoat in order to encourage the growth of crops. But this story is not about the past, for through the actions of the town, Jackson shows us many of the social ills that exist in our own lives.