Literary Analysis Of The Lottery

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Literary Analysis "The Lottery" 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, a boy by the name of Bobby Martin collects rocks and “other boys soon followed his example” (Jackson 1). In the resolution, the children were the first to have their stones collected. Without hesitation, they give the youngest child in the Hutchinson family pebbles in order to stone his mother to death. This statement proves the characteristic of pattern in tradition and its role in creating a perverse and unaware town. As Lofaker writes “the guile of the story lies in its neighborly air,” and our acceptance of the “neighborly air”, which we recognize perhaps from our own communities, goes close to making us accomplices in the evil act at the end of the story (qtd. in Smith 1).The most ironic element in this story is how the sins of the community are washed away as they are sinning, simultaneously. Furthermore, the rising action and the falling action present two separate sides of the custom: the supporters and the opposers. In the rising action, Old Man Warner reinforces his adamant position about the tradition and condemns those that were going away from it calling them "pack of crazy fools” and “pack of young fools” (4). In the falling action, Tessie Hutchinson decides that the practice is unjust and shouts, "You didn't give [my husband] time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!" (5). As the first one to say that a practice which had been imposed for many years was wrong, Tessie Hutchinson is crowned the “winner” and stoned to death. This proves the difficulty of bringing change and the actuality of the consequence of trying to fight a
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