Analysis Of Shirley Jackson 's ' The Lottery '

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Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa. These winter holidays involve being around with family and close friends. They spread holiday warmth and cheer by following the festivities of tradition. Whether it is decorating a tree, lighting up the menorah or preparing for the karamu feast, these events serve as a celebration for the end of the year and preserve their culture. In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery”, the villagers from an unknown town perform an action to preserve their culture. This small, homely and rural area believe that if they commit a certain deed annually, good crops will be bestowed upon them. The event happens on June 27th, at a time when school has officially ended for summer break, and the villagers are free for the…show more content…
One aspect that explains the villagers’ obedience towards this terrible tradition stems from Carol Tavris’ ideology about how society favors group submission over moral rebellion. In the short story, the unfortunate family that selected the marked paper was the Hutchinson family. The mother of the family, Tessie Hutchinson, was clearly distraught and believes that the owner of the black box, Mr. Summers did that intentionally. Knowing that one of the family members will be sacrificed, Ms. Hutchinson tries to prevent their doom by accusing Mr.Summers for “‘You didn’t give him time enough to take any he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!’”(Jackson 3). It is ironic because Tessie has likely stoned other villagers in the past, but when her family is selected that year, she then tries to claim that this is unjust and unfair. Despite her outcries, the villagers explain that everyone had the same chance, and her husband told his wife to “‘Shut up, Tessie,’”(Jackson 3). Even when a barbaric deed is going to be committed, the rest of the villagers conform to its rules. From an outsider’s perspective, this ignorance to morals and willingly following unjust laws is absurd. But this rationale is be explained through Carol Tavris’ “In Groups We Shrink”. In her piece, Tavris explains how people in groups behave far differently than individuals. She proposed that people in groups “... behave badly because they aren’t
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