Analysis Of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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As once said by Professor John P. Kotter," tradition is a very powerful force" (qtd. in AZQuotes). In Shirley Jackson's chilling story "The Lottery", a town celebrates a special custom of stoning people to death every year. Jackson perfectly depicts a possible event that may occur from blindly following tradition without evaluating the purpose or usefulness of it in the first place. Jackson’s use of plot, theme, and symbolism reveal the evil reality of blind faith, tradition, and their consequences.
Initially, Jackson’s twisted plot reveals the infinite, vicious cycle that a tradition can become. In the exposition of the story a boy by the name of Bobby Martin collects rocks and “other boys soon followed his example” (Jackson 1). In the
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This proves the difficulty of bringing change and the actuality of the consequence of trying to fight a tradition. Everyone including Tessie’s family and friends turned their back on her. Through the use of themes, Jackson demonstrates that blind faith creates oblivious and scared communities who rather follow and obey a belief instead of respecting their own morals. Hence, Mrs. Hutchinson is stoned to death without a vindicated reason. The line, “although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones,” is evidence that the town has lost itself in something that has no meaning to them, but that has sovereignty over them (7). Proof throughout history supports the idea of repetition of events in which people will innocently pay the price for their lives for a crime they did not commit. Barely three years before the appearance of "The Lottery," the world was horrified to learn of the extent to which Hitler and his followers had gone in their persecution of Europe's Jews, Gypsies, and other victims, the scapegoats for what some perceived to be the evils of Europe. By their deaths Germany was to be purified (Bogert 1985). In addition, custom is one of the most prevalent themes in this short story. One of the characters Mr. Summers talked about making a new box, but a modification never occurred because “no one liked to upset even as much
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