Inhumane Acts of Society Illustrated in Jackson's The Lottery Essay

Inhumane Acts of Society Illustrated in Jackson's The Lottery Essay

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Shirley Jackson's “The Lottery” shows the reader that the human race will do any horrible act for success, in this case holding a town lottery where the winner is stoned to death in the towns square in hopes of a bountiful corn crop come during harvest time. The lottery is a tradition held in the town annually on June 27 and is done right as the corn is ready to become fruitful. Even in the day and age where technology is used for farming (tractors, plows) to till and harvest the land, this is a communal tradition that cannot be broken.
The story begins with a small town on a beautiful sunny day showing the children innocently collecting rocks near the town square, but was it an innocent act? The lottery would start around 10 o'clock. This gave the villagers just enough time to complete the process and return home for lunch. The townspeople start to gather at the town square in anticipation of the yearly lottery, but the talk amongst them isn't about who will be stoned shortly but about planting, tractors, paying taxes and plentiful rain. Mr. Summers then approaches the crowd holding the black box that encloses little white pieces of paper with one of them concealing the black dot. Mr. Summers was the only one “who had time and energy to devote to civic activities,” (p.204). Following right behind him was the postmaster Mr. Graves who carried the 3-legged stool to the square where the black box would rest atop. Once all the villagers were present and the box was in place, the lottery could begin. Mr. Summers announces, “'Here,' a sudden hush fell on the crowd...'all ready?' 'Now, I'll read the names-heads of families first-and the men come up and tale a piece of paper out of the box. Keep the paper folded in your hand...


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...ept something like this into our society. The young were able to accept such a change a lot better than the older generations were because of the generation gap that the young people did not live in a racist world painting a tainted picture in their mind about African Americans. The actions that took place in the Lottery are violent and cruel toward human beings; racism and abortion are hurtful and upsetting in different ways. Cruelty towards human beings is taken more seriously when someone is physically being harmed, even though words and racism can be just as hurtful to one’s self esteem.
In conclusion, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” proves that anyone will do whatever it takes to achieve their goals no matter what the consequences are. Whether it is stoning, racism, or abortion, all inhumane acts are taken seriously yet differently in the views of society.

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