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Tradition is the Guide of the Ignorant in The Lottery Essay examples

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Tradition is the Guide of the Ignorant in The Lottery

In "The Lottery" author Shirley Jackson takes us to a place in which a tradition is passed down generation after generation. However, over the years, the "lottery" has lost any significant meaning and the villagers follow tradition without even knowing why the tradition exists. In this short story, a lottery is held every June 26th of each year. The lottery consists of every man of each household to pick a piece of paper out of a box. One family will be the "chosen" family, which means that each member of the family will then choose another piece of paper from the box. In the end, only one person will be the ultimate "winner." They will be the one who is stoned to death, and
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Summers had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations'"(234). While reading, the reader starts to understand the lottery tradition from which many rules and regulations disappeared for convenience reasons. This leads the reader to believe that the villagers do not truly understand the origins of the lottery. The townspeople do not ever question why the lottery takes place and they all just stand there and go through with it year after year. The "lottery" has become so commonplace that it almost seems as though it's a natural part of their lives. Mrs. Jackson states '" The people had done the lottery so many times that they only half listened to the directions'"(235). In this passage, the reader learns through the nonchalant ness of the villager's actions that an important event does not attract much attention. They don't even need to listen to the directions because all the townspeople already know what they have to do. Another showing of ignorance is when Old Man Warner snorts,
"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 any more, 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
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