Catholicism Exposed in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay

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Traditions are something that are passed from generation to generation. Tradition becomes a part of who we are as a scociety. Shirley Jackson mocks society’s way of blindly following certain traditions. Characteristics of Jackson’s story create a parallel with Catholicism, by harping on our fear of change but our ability to manipulate what we want from our traditions and the basis of Catholicism’s belief of the innocence in children. Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" has created a clear link to Catholicism encouraging us to open our eyes and question our blind faith in traditions. The Catholic religion has been practiced for centuries lasting through Crusades and every Easter holiday, Shirley Jackson uses this longstanding …show more content…
Through talking with many atheists/agnostics from Catholic families their many stories end the same. People get verbally crucified for not following in their religious tradition. Old Man Warner calling them “young fools” does exactly that, criticizes a village because of what they have stopped following. This draws a parallel to people’s fear of change. Many families fear that their child’s world will completely change due to their lack of faith while Old Man Warner and other community members believe that their town will go to waste with out the lottery. Through Old Man Warner we learn that the lottery has been around for seventy-seven plus years, throughout this time Shirley Jackson makes it know that although a lot of the tradition is the same, the community has taken liberty to mix it up alittle. This liberty is seen throughout aspects of the Catholic religion, whether families feel its right to only go to church on Easter Sunday and Christmas deeming other Sunday’s and holy days of obligation as okay to skip. Jackson makes this manipulation stand out when she states; At one time, some people remembered, there had been a recital of some sort, performed by the official of the lottery[…] also, a ritual salute, which the official of the lottery had to use in addressing each person[…]but this also had changed with time, until now it was felt necessary only for the official to speak to each person approaching. (Jackson 366-7)

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