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One of America's Best and Most Controversial Short Stories, The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Decent Essays
For over 2 hours the villagers gathered around the town’s square awaiting the results to the annual lottery. “The Lottery” was written by Shirley Jackson in 1948 and became one of America’s best and most controversial short stories. In “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson expressed her opinion on society’s resistance to change and how people uphold traditions passed down through generations. At first in “The Lottery” the author makes it seem like this annual event is a very positive event in the village. The tone in Shirley’s writing is very pleasant and inviting especially when she talks about the setting in which it takes place. “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were…show more content…
I think that Shirley Jackson was referring to people not being able to let go of traditions such as in social circumstances, religion, and politics. People are afraid of making changes because they are comfortable with what they were raised with because they have been taught that, that is the way things are supposed to be. Even though this event is outdated and ends in murder, many villagers especially the older ones found the idea of stopping the lottery ludicrous.
“They do say,” Mr. Adams said to the Old Man Wagner, who stood next to him “that over in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery.” Old Man Wagner snorted. “Pack of crazy fools,” he said. “Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work anymore, live that way for a while. Used to be a saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon’ First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns….” (Jackson.4)
Old Man Wagner represents the reactionary and conservatives while Mr. Adam and the north village represent a more liberal and progressive movement. Old Man Wagner can’t accept that the lottery could or should be stopped, and that doing so it would be bringing the society backwards instead of progressing into something better for the future of the villagers. Same as in most political movements there’s different groups of people who have
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