Tradition Is an Evil Dictator in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

Tradition Is an Evil Dictator in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

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Tradition is an evil dictator. Tradition can be simple or complex. Tradition has the power to force someone to do something or not do something. In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, the reader gets an uneasy feeling that tradition dictates everything. Jackson makes it obvious that this village is run completely on tradition and that everyone fears change.
One-way to ensure that the tradition of the lottery is continued, the children participate. The children are the first to assemble then the rest to the village. The total population in this village is only about three hundred people; this means that everyone is close and knows each other. Before the lottery is conducted, the children put rocks in piles and stuff their pockets with stones. These children not only watch someone they know get stoned to death, but they actually throw rocks that they collect. Children, which represent innocence, have to be taught the difference between what is right and what is wrong. The children in this village are taught that murdering someone is acceptable. Promoting violence in young children can lead to aggressive behavior later on in life. For example, a new fad in video games is fighting in a war like environment. Playing these violent games exposes young kids to death on a daily basis. According to Mihaela Chraif, “youngsters who play violent games have suffered a desensitization process”. (par. 32) A desensitization process is when someone has a diminished emotional response. This means that the children in “The Lottery” have no emotional impact when they murder one of their neighbors. They think stoning is a fun game, which will make the children want to continue on the tradition.
Something that the villagers did not want to change was t...


... middle of paper ...


... hands.” (Jackson 268) Mrs. Delacroix has to be in her late thirties, so she has been to a lot of lotteries and knows how to kill someone so it takes the least time possible.



Works Cited

Chraif, Mihaela, and Mihai Anitei. "The Influence Of Experience In Playing Violent Video Games On The Physiological Reactivity Recorded By The Polygraph On Romanian Youngsters." International Proceedings Of Economics Development & Research 31.(2012): 170. Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File. Web. 22 Mar. 2014.

Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 12th ed. New York: Pearson, 2013. 262-268. Print.

Zacharia, Sophie1. "Death By Stoning: The Uncertain Fate Of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani." Amicus Journal 26 (2011): 21-24. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 22 Mar. 2014.

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