Things Are Not Always What They Seem

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In the short story, “The Lottery,” the author Shirley Jackson describes an ancient ritual practiced by the town of roughly 300 people, one of whom will get stoned to death. The initial descriptive scenes from the short story are filled with innocence and happiness, but as the story progresses the scenes soon becomes shady and horrid. The unmistakable themes in the short story, “The Lottery” is the danger of blindly following tradition, the randomness of persecution, turning on other family members, and sexism.
Jackson’s story initially describes the villagers gathering around together in the square on June 27. It was a bright and sunny day, and children run around gathering stones. As the minutes pass by, parents start arriving and begin to call their children. Mr. Summers, who officiates all the big events, calls each head of the household to select a piece of paper. It is found out Bill Hutchinson’s family is on the paper, and Tessie, the wife of Bill immediately starts complaining. One can immediately sense that this is not the same lottery as the lottery played in the 21st century because people do not complain if they won the lottery. In the following round, each member of the Hutchinson’s family come up and draw another piece of paper. Unfortunately, Tessie received the one with a black dot on it. The villagers each grab a stone, including her own family and stone her to death (Shmoop Editorial Team).
The most evident theme in “The Lottery” is the danger of blindly following tradition. Old Man Warner, the oldest man in the village, said, “‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon… There’s always been a lottery’”. Mrs. Adams tells him “‘Some places have already quit the lotteries”’. “‘Nothing but trouble in that,”’ Old Man Warn...

... middle of paper ..., leading one to think women are meant to be housewives. It appears men outshine women in more ways than one (The Lottery).
In brief, things are not always as they seem. Tessie Hutchinson, an eager participant at the square is willing to participate in the uncanny ritual until she becomes the victim. Many of the townspeople are ignorant because they blindly follow a tradition being led by a pathetic man. It is very ironic to know the villagers have forgotten the origin of the ritual and lost the original black box, yet they still remembered to use stones to kill a person. Through following tradition, the villagers are able to satisfy their own need for violence. Throughout the short story, the author Jackson reminds us how The Lottery is a prime example of what can happen if tradition goes unquestioned generation after generation.
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