The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

848 WordsMar 1, 20164 Pages
In the short story “The Lottery”, written by Shirley Jackson, the dangers of traditions, and the rituals that are associated with it, come to light as the reader learns of a small town and the events that its people partake in. While one may think of traditions as having a turkey on Thanksgiving or putting cookies out for Santa, traditions in this town take on a darker side where their most valued tradition is one of human sacrifice in hopes of having a good harvest season. Throughout the story the reader goes through an emotional roller coaster when they first believe that someone is about to win a lottery, that we believe will be one of luxury and money, only to find out the true winnings of the lottery is an overabundance of stones being thrown at one’s head intended to cause their death. While the tradition keeps small towns and families closer and helps to preserve one’s culture some people in the village and outside believe that this tradition is negative and dangerous and move towards ending the ritualistic sacrifice. At the beginning of the story the townspeople are told to be going on with their everyday life whether it be the children collecting small stones as it is told that “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones” or the adults talking about work and “plants, and rain, tractors and taxes” and their day to day life (Jackson). Everything in the story makes the reader believe that it is a normal day and nothing hostile is about to happen. As

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