Essay on The Unfair Tradition Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

Essay on The Unfair Tradition Of The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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The unfair tradition of the Lottery by Shirley Jackson symbolizes a loss of humanity and an unstable society, afraid of facing the reality of the practices they partake in, so they continue to do so with no hesitation and mercy of their actions. Shirley provides an insight on what society is like today, following a trend or hype because of the publicity and the majority of people engaging themselves in it. These “followers” get so caught up in these habits that it makes them so immoral things without thought or question. As Mark Twain said “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” (Mark Twain). This tradition has become a security for the villagers, leaving their mind at decay, lost in the effort to think of changing it. Old Man Warner is dedicated and loyal to the lottery that he is scared the villagers’ way of life will disintegrate if the lottery is not held anymore. “Next thing you’ll know they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves”. (Jackson 541) this shows how Old man Werner thinks the villagers will end up without the lottery.
The Lottery has been a tradition in this small town for years, rules throughout the years, however, have been abandoned, changed up or replaced without being questioned. The whole village knows what goes down on the day of the lottery; families prepare themselves by gathering together in the town while children gather stones and then go over to their parents to stand with them.
Mr. Summers is in charge of the lottery every year, his job being to draw family names on slips of paper out of a black box that is in fact very powerful. This box ultimately dictates who is safe and who is not. If your name is drawn with a black dot on it, you are turned on ...


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... as the North Koreans have because they don’t have connections to the outside world or a logical education to assume that their practices and way of life is morally incorrect. The people of both North Korea and the village are restricted to do anything on their own and have their own freedoms, rights etc.
In a broader form of thinking, the village and their tradition of the auction symbolizes the restraint of the people, the secluded way of life they are born into with no other means of change. Like many other societies from all around the world, they stick to their practices and call them “traditions” because of the partaking of these practices are something they’ve enjoyed for decades or more. The climax of the story, when Tessie is unfairly chosen or picked on like a monkey in the middle, shows the ill-mindedness of her own family and the village members.

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