Outdated Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" satirizes outdated tradition and it’s blind followers in what's supposed to be a civilized village. At first glance, the town is depicted as a modernized society. The men were conversing about taxes and sharing jokes while the women were exchanging “bits of gossip” (Jackson 1). We then learn the horrifying truth behind their tradition, the prize is death. The “winner” of the lottery is stoned to death by their neighbors. This tradition is intended to maintain social structure, yet it leads to the brutal loss of life which goes to show how it has been taken too far. This leads me to believe that the author’s intention was not simply to expose us to radical traditions and ideas but instead plea for us to think…show more content…
For example, when someone comes out at being part of the lgbtq community or when someone reveals their religion especially if it’s one people associate with radical practices. Once this information is out in the open, just as the winner of the lottery was, people are so quick to change their attitude against a person who they previously associated with with no problem. Jackson wants to bring this issue to people’s attention hoping that they realize the great harm that can come out of acting on these outdated ideas and traditions. Although in “The Lottery” the outcome may seem to be very extreme, death due to an unlucky drawing of a paper, it’s not too far fetched from our reality. There have been many incidents in which people have lost their lives for not falling under our idea of “ordinary” or “traditional”. So although it may as if Jackson was being a bit extreme, the fact is that that is a reality for a number of people. So by making it appear extreme and even evil, it allows for questions to arise, questions that individuals could then make a habit of asking regarding their
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