The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

Decent Essays
Tradition is defined as the passing down of an act or belief from generation to generation. Different traditions are found in every society, culture, location, and family. Usually, when one hears the word ‘tradition’ they think of family gatherings, unique cuisine or other pleasant festivities. However, the townspeople in the story “The Lottery” may have a different connotation for the word. In “The Lottery”, the town in which the story takes place has a random drawing on the twenty-seventh of June every year to see who will be stoned by the rest of the villagers. Though this sounds cruel and unusual, the practice was a tradition of the village and of other surrounding villages as well. In this short story "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson, the author, uses symbolism to emphasize the absurdity in upholding some traditions. One item that Jackson uses as symbolism in the story is the rocks that are picked for the lottery and are later thrown. The children of the town are the first to arrive at the meeting place of the lottery. Because of this, they are the ones who gather the rocks for later use. Though one might think this act would be done grudgingly, the children are in no means forced to do it. And, as a matter of fact, they enjoy doing it. They seem to make a sort of game out of picking up the stones by seeing how many smooth, round rocks they can get their greedy hands on. The game becomes so important to the children that they begin to shelter their growing rock piles,
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