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
Would you stone your neighborhood to death for the sake of tradition? Shirley Jackson wrote The Lottery in 1948 to tell a story about how savage people can be for tradition. The story is about a small town who has a yearly lottery and the winner gets stoned to death by their neighbors. The thought is that if you have a lottery, then you will have good crops that season. This short story tells the tale of poor Tessie Hutchinson who is stoned by her own town, her son helps too. In the short story The Lottery, Shirley Jackson argues that all people, regardless of how civilized they may seem, are capable of great evil by contrasting seemingly pleasant and relatable details of the town with the shocking barbarity of their tradition.
Traditions are based all around us. Today’s society has many traditions like family traditions, holiday traditions, southern traditions, and so many more. Although most traditions are harmless, it is not always best to follow tradition. Sometimes following tradition can be dangerous. In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” villagers participate in an annual drawing, and the winner gets stoned. The villagers are blind to how cruel and brutal it is because of their commitment to this tradition and to that society. Fear is what is keeping this village from breaking such an act. The fear of actually giving up this tradition and society is what is keeping this brutal act existent. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a perfect example that following tradition
Shirley Jackson's “The Lottery” is a short story about the annual gathering of the villagers to conduct an ancient ritual. The ritual ends in the stoning of one of the residents of this small village. This murder functions under the guise of a sacrament that, at one time, served the purpose of ensuring a bountiful harvest. This original meaning, however, is lost over the years and generations of villagers. The loss of meaning has changed the nature and overall purpose of the lottery. This ritual is no longer a humble sacrifice that serves the purpose of securing the harvest but instead is a ceremony of violence and murder only existing for the pleasure found in this violence.
Almost every person in the world holds a set of traditions which have been established and practiced for a long period of time. However, some traditions often cause us to not see the rationality despite of the destructive nature it may have. In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”, a sacrifice of one’s life becomes the “jackpot” of an annual event held in a small town. This society’s traditions have caused the people to do away with their rational thoughts and the values of their lives as they have become so stuck in their own cultural beliefs.
Andrew Lansley once said “Peer pressure and social norms are powerful influences on behavior, and they are classic excuses.” Most people tend to follow cultural customs because they have grown with them or it has been forced onto them with factors such as parents or their environment. However, is it always right to follow these customs even if they are in fact considered wrong? Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a short story about the cultural norms of a small community and its annual lottery ritual; a stoning. Jackson overthrows the story by making the lottery a corrupt occurrence rather than a victory. The reader would probably think that the “winner” of the lottery would be benefited but in this case the victory was not so delightful. In her short story “The Lottery” Jackson seemingly uses ordinary details about the setting and the townspeople to characterize her theme that although society claims to be civilized, and may appear so, it is inherently barbaric.
In Shirley Jackson's story, “The Lottery”, she expresses her feelings on why the people of the village blindly follow certain parts of the inhumane tradition, while allowing others to be disregarded without question. For instance, a villager is selected at random to be stoned to death. This conveys the reader to understand some of the traditions were cruel, and allows them to foresee the result of the traditions that took place in the village. Shirley Jackson uses symbolism throughout her story to allow readers to be aware of the pointless nature of humanity in regard to the tradition. Three concepts behind “The Lottery” are family relationships, blind adherence, and rules of the tradition.
Most modern societies view murder as a crime. The punishments for homicide in the United States of America are extreme. However, this matter was viewed differently in the past. After World War II, people’s perception of right and wrong varied widely. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” portrays how many citizens were brainwashed into following their ancestor’s traditions.
"It isn't fair, it isn't right, Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her" (Jackson). Shirley Jackson's “The Lottery” is brimming with illustrations of how thoughtless repetition dilutes foundations that were once rock solid. The traditions of the village in the story lead to the stoning to death of one of the residents on a yearly basis. The people were not so clear as to how, when, or why this took place every year; however, this did not stop them from continuing with an encore. The limited view they had on life and of growth was the road block that prevented any major change. Traditions can overcome society's better judgement.
Traditions are widespread among many different people and cultures; It is an explanation for acting without thinking. Not all traditions are a good thing, though, and blindly following them can lead to harsh consequences. The villagers in a small town in “The Lottery” gather together annually to participate in this tradition, where one person in the town is randomly chosen in a drawing to be violently stoned to death by citizens. It has been around for seventy-seven years and everyone partakes in it. People always attend, showing the importance of tradition amongst the society. However, in the short story, “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson uses many literary devices to show that traditions are not always meant to be followed.
“The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it” (Twain). The Lottery begins during the summer. A small, seemingly normal, town is gathering to throw the annual “Lottery”. In the end, the townspeople—children included—gather around and stone the winner to death, simply because it was tradition. The story reveals how traditions can become outdated and ineffective. “I suppose, I hoped, by setting a particularly brutal ancient rite in the present and in my own village to shock the story's readers with a graphic dramatization of the pointless violence and general inhumanity in their own lives” (Jackson). As humans develop as a race, their practices should develop with them. Shirley Jackson develops the
Once upon a time there was a little village. In this village three hundred people happily farmed and played and went about their business. The children went to school while the men cut wood or farmed, and the women cooked and cleaned. Every summer in June each of villagers took part in the traditional lottery drawing and one villager was picked for the prize – a stoning. In 1948, Shirley Jackson published this short story known as “The Lottery,” in The New York Times. The story’s plot shocked readers all over America as they learned of the horror happening in such a quaint town. Jackson purposely set this tragic event in this innocent setting to emphasize humanity’s cruelty. Using her appalling short story, The Lottery,
In the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson you go on a ride of emotions with the characters in the development of their lives during this ritualistic Lottery that takes place. The ideal of the story is a lottery is head every year in which all the townspeople's names are put in a lottery and drawn from. The person whose name is chosen will become the chose one of the town and use as a sacrifice of sorts. They will be sacrificed as an offering to be blessed with better crops for the following year. So as the happy townsfolk do their “wonderful” lottery the one chosen wasn’t so happy as the rest. Tessie Hutchinson was chosen and has to be sacrificed by stoning for the greater good of her village, but once chosen her views on the whole matter swing in a heartbeat. The whole theme of the story is how tradition for some can vary for people to people, but In the lottery is it their tradition wrong or right in there minds. We have to determine if the mob of townsfolk are wrong or right for stoning the housewife Tessie to death for their beliefs in the lottery.
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
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.