preview

`` The Lottery `` By Shirley Jackson

Decent Essays
According to Philip Zimbardo the author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, he says “Good people can be induced, seduced, and initiated into behaving in evil ways. They can also be led to act in irrational, stupid, self-destructive, antisocial, and mindless ways when they are immersed in 'total situations ' that impact human nature in ways that challenge our sense of the stability and consistency of individual personality, of character, and of morality” (Philip). In the short storyThe Lottery”, author Shirley Jackson demonstrates Zimbardo’s concepts in three different areas: Authority figures, Tradition and Superstition, and Loyalty.

The first concept Jackson portrays in “The Lottery” is the authority figures. Jackson indicates that the lottery is being held in the town center by one authority figure, Mr. Summers, annually on June 27th. Every June 27th, without fail, townspeople gather in the town square to participate in the annually lottery even though most of them cannot recall nor question the origin of this event, and none bother to question if it is conducted fairly. Mr. Summers not only conducts the lottery as keeper of the black box, where he makes up the name slips, but is also the only authority figure who marks a black spot on the name slip that sends a person to death by stone. Jackson never discusses how Mr. Summers obtained such power over the town; but everyone in town unquestioningly complies with Mr. Summers’s orders. In
Get Access