Tradition; it is the back bone of every culture and civilization. It is what keeps the beliefs, philosophies, and activities of societies alive, to be passed down from generation to generation. However not all traditions are practiced with pure intentions. Some activities become so routine, people don’t know a life outside of them. Societies become so accustomed to “tradition” that they will participate in pastimes without questioning the ethics or morals of the situation. Ultimately when tradition takes the place of a rationalizing mind the outcome can be incredibly dangerous. The role of tradition is an underlying theme in the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, forcing readers to ask themselves “At what point do
In Shirley Jackson’s "The Lottery," what appears to be an ordinary day in a small town takes an evil turn when a woman is stoned to death after "winning" the town lottery. The lottery in this story reflects an old tradition of sacrificing a scapegoat in order to encourage the growth of crops. But this story is not about the past, for through the actions of the town, Jackson shows us many of the social ills that exist in our own lives.
Americans day after day live much of their lives following time-honored traditions that are passed down from one generation to another. From simple everyday cooking and raising children, to holidays and other family rituals, tradition plays a significant role on how they go by there everyday lives. In Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery," the citizens of a small farming town follow one such tradition. A point is made regarding human nature in relation to tradition. The story begins on a beautiful summer afternoon. The town's citizens are eager, gathering in the town square in order to take part in the yearly lottery. With the story focused around one particular family, the Hutchinsons, who
Everyone has their own way of solving problems; however, ritual is a form that people doing one thing in the same way. It defines as “the prescribed form of conducting a formal secular ceremony.” However if the meaning of ritual is mistaken, the consequence could be unpredictable." The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson gives us a lecture about a tortuous ritual. The story takes place in a small village with 300 citizens, they gather for a yearly lottery which everyone should participate. The story leads to a horrific ending by people forgetting the concept of ritual.
The short story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, managed to capture various human tendencies stemming from the very heart of the unalterable human condition. The willingness to follow tradition blindly, the inherent cruelty of humans, and the unwillingness to change were the primary negative behaviors depicted in the story.
The Lottery, a short story by the nonconformist author Shirley Jackson, represents communities, America, the world, and conformist society as a whole by using setting and most importantly symbolism with her inventive, cryptic writing style. It was written in 1948, roughly three years after the liberation of a World War II concentration camp Auschwitz. Even today, some people deny that the Holocaust ever happened. Jackson shows through the setting of the story, a small, close knit town, that even though a population can ignore evil, it is still prevalent in society (for example: the Harlem Riots; the terrorist attacks on September 11; the beating of Rodney King.)
In Jackson 's 'The Lottery, custom and tradition institutionalize atrocious acts. In the story the setting is a small, what looks to be an inspiring community with a population of around three hundred people. Jackson paints a picture of a community where he said, “flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” (1) . Jackson wants the audience to believe that the community was ordinary and innocent, but ends with a dramatic and unnecessary stoning. It leaves the readers stunned, but Religious Persecution happens all over the world in the most remote place and right in our back yards, and readers are not able to wrap their minds around that truth. On a quiet morning, June 27th, the residents, beginning with the
There are many things that people do every day without questioning why they do them. These are our habits and traditions, and though for the most part they are unimportant they can be a crucial part of our culture and our interactions with each other. Sometimes there are traditions that can cause harm or are morally unacceptable. What should be done in this case? Edmund Burke, a nineteenth century politician and author, argues that it is best to stick with tradition rather than causing dramatic changes in people’s behavior. This is a key component in his argument against the French Revolution in his essay “Reflections on the Revolution in France.” In this essay he argues that the revolution will only lead the
In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”, it can be very dangerous to follow traditions blindly without knowing about the horrible consequences. When one follows traditions and laws and never questions or seeks to understand the reason for them, the inevitable outcome often brings sorrow. Indeed blind devotion to complying with rules that destroys the human spirit by removing choice, and continuing rituals with dark consequences, and punishing anyone who objects to following tradition. Complying with rules that helps lead to destroying the human spirit is dangerous because individuals should always have the choice to follow those rules. The blind devotion of the village participating in the town’s yearly lottery is the clear example why all rules aren’t always positive. Rituals can be looked upon as positive but they also can have a negative connotation when they lead to dangerous consequences. The village in the story has a ritual every year to hold a lottery, where the winner is stoned to death and this is a clear example how a ritual can be viewed negatively. Traditions are beliefs passed down between generations of a family or culture. They are things we do by choice because they are enjoyable and meaningful for the people involved. Traditions in the story have a dark side to it because the tradition in this village is to kill one of members of the village using a lottery system. The dark side of “The Lottery”, is substantial with many down falls of
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" satirizes barbaric traditions in a supposedly civilized village. As the story begins, the villagers appear to be fairly civilized and carry on fairly modern lifestyles. This is assumed by the men's discussion of planting, rain, tractors, and taxes. The lottery was outdated to such a degree that some may think that the tradition is primal competition of anthropoid beasts. On the other hand, some think that carrying on the tradition was necessary. The question that must be answered is: Was this a barbaric tradition or was this ritual an honest attempt to better other villager's lives?
Shirley Jackson's story, The Lottery is about a group of towns people who meet every year on the 27th of June. On this day a stoning takes place, as it washes away the sins of everyone that lived in the village. However, should the tradition of the stoning be changed when it becomes your time?
Would you blindly follow tradition, even if it's you who finds out the hard way? What if that tradition ment one death to the community, and that one death was you. While this idea of blindly following tradition is shown very while in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. Shirley Jackson does a great way of showing that following tradition blindly can lead to something you never would have thought to happen. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is the best short story because of the author's attention to details, the great symbolism, and the irony used.
In our society we have many traditions. These traditions all have certain meanings behind them; however, many of those meanings tend to be lost or forgotten. The holiday of Thanksgiving was originally a celebration to commemorate the arrival of the pilgrims in the new world and their first interactions with the Native Americans. So then why is it still celebrated today? There is no actual purpose in today’s society to observe this custom. It has just continued to be observed because of past traditions. There is no logical reason to continue this fête, as it holds little or no value. With the passage of time the actual reasons have been lost or distorted, such as in the case of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”
Shirley Jackson?s insights and observations about society are reflected in her shocking and disturbing short story The Lottery. Jackson reveals two general attitudes in this story: first is the shocking tendency for societies to select a scapegoat and second is the idea that communities are victims of social tradition and rituals.
The laws for how women and men should act in regards to each other and towards the other sex in their community are, in many cultures, clearly defined. From the earliest recorded laws, historians can see that societies had separate roles for men and women. Nina McConigley, author of Cowboys and East Indians, explores the role of gender throughout her short stories. Often allowing clear boundaries to be crossed, and doing this in a way that the reader understands that cultural rules are being violated. One of her most extreme examples of cultural expectation and deviation in this book is in the short story “Pomp and Circumstances.”