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...
... middle of paper ...
...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.
PERRINE'S STORY AND STRUCTUE 9TH ED.
ARE, THOMAS R.
1998, HARCOURT-BRACE COLLEGE PUBLISHERS
FORT WORTH, TX
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- We can transform our life by altering our thinking process, and the stories by Shirley Jackson and Chris Abani emphasize on changing the thought. Shirley Jackson’s story, “The Lottery”, conveys a great ironic tradition of a certain American community at some time in history, probably not that old. Similarly, “The Lottery” by Chris Abani also explores a similar tragic story about a loss of a life, and presents the life and survival as a lottery, which is never certain. In these regards, both these stories express a common theme of a traditional belief and a tragic end of a life but in a very contrasting fashion and settings.... [tags: Death, Tradition, Mob]
626 words (1.8 pages)
- “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” (Twain). The Lottery begins during the summer. A small, seemingly normal, town is gathering to throw the annual “Lottery”. In the end, the townspeople—children included—gather around and stone the winner to death, simply because it was tradition. The story reveals how traditions can become outdated and ineffective. “I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story 's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives” (Jackson).... [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]
1373 words (3.9 pages)
- Set in a quintessential American town, “The Lottery” depicts an eternal tradition, practiced by villagers, of selecting one member of a family to be murdered. In Shirley Jackson’s riveting short story “The Lottery”, Jackson creates a community that’s rich in tradition, yet lacks historical evidence, making the village’s annual lottery an event to attend. Over the course of the short story, the narrator hints at the apparent discourse of camaraderie for the lottery and as a result the tradition became purposeless.... [tags: Short story, Shirley Jackson, Fiction]
718 words (2.1 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Shirley Jackson, The Lottery]
506 words (1.4 pages)
- Throughout the story of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, Shirley Jackson builds suspense Keeping traditions can be a bonding experience. Enforcing one on the other hand can be greatly detrimental, particularly on an entire society. The short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson illustrates the theme of imposing a tradition on a people and how they blindly fall into its trap. The village is forced to gather yearly for lot casting were one person is selected for death. Thus (albeit) the villagers didn’t raise the awareness of actually questioning themselves what’s the origin of this lottery and they followed it nevertheless.... [tags: Short story, Shirley Jackson, The New Yorker]
719 words (2.1 pages)
- Irony in the Story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” irony is an underlying theme used throughout the story. The setting is introduced as a “clear and sunny” day, but ends with the brutal death of a housewife (715). The two people who essentially run the town, Mr. Graves and Mr. Summers, also have ironic names. In addition, the characters and the narrator make ironic statements throughout the story. The plot as a whole in “The Lottery” is filled with ironic twists.... [tags: The Lottery Shirley Jackson Literature Essays]
643 words (1.8 pages)
- Easily regarded as one of America’s most beloved short stories, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, leaves readers with excitement and perhaps a small sense of doubt. Doubt could be an aspect of the reader’s mind due to the gory fact of the cultural tradition in the small farming town of the story. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” displays the theme of unwavering ritualistic tradition and the use of symbolism throughout the story. This means the village is unable to move past their tradition while symbolism is shown through character’s names such as Old Man Warner and Tessie and through various objects in the story like the stool and the black box.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
1767 words (5 pages)
- In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” irony is an underlying theme used throughout the story. Shirley Jackson involves residents in a preparation of following a longstanding traditional process of lottery. However, this proves to be a different type of lottery as the winner gets a different form of present. This is unknown to the reader of the story until when the story is almost over. Residents gather at 10 in the morning in the square that is located between the bank and the post office awaiting the arrival of Mr.... [tags: The Lottery Essays]
984 words (2.8 pages)
- Foreshadowing in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery "The Lottery," a short story written by Shirley Jackson, is a tale about a disturbing social practice. The setting takes place in a small village consisting of about three hundred denizens. On June twenty-seventh of every year, the members of this traditional community hold a village-wide lottery in which everyone is expected to participate. Throughout the story, the reader gets an odd feeling regarding the residents and their annual practice. Not until the end does he or she gets to know what the lottery is about. Thus, from the beginning of the story until almost the end, there is an overwhelming sense that something terrible is... [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]
1142 words (3.3 pages)
- 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 dange... [tags: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson]
906 words (2.6 pages)