Discussion in Human Sacrifice
In “The Lottery”, people who draw the slip of paper with a black spot on it will be stoned to death by reason that the villagers maintain a belief that killing someone is of great benefit to the whole village. This kind of human sacrifice is a collective act of murder because people force another person to sacrifice his life innocently for their own interests. As described in the novel, “Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now and she held her hands out desperately”, from which we can see that selfish villagers are murdering Tessie Hutchinson actively. So the lottery is a collective act of murder. It is not morally justified because the person who will be stoned to death is not voluntary but coerced. For example, Mrs. Hutchinson screamed that “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” after she drew the slip of paper, and then others were upon her. It reveals that people only think about their interest regardless of Mrs. Hutchinson's death, which is contrary to human nature. As a result, it is not morally justified. Is tradition sufficient justification for such actions? Of course it is not. Even tradition should be made some adjustments with the progress of the times. For instance, “Some places have already quit lotteries.” Mrs. Adams said. This shows that in some places people have come to realize the backwardness of lotteries. However, Old Man Warner insisted that “We’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery.” Because of the group of people who follow the tradition numbly, tradition does not change with the times. So following such of outdated tradition can’t be the reason for such actions. The Orphan of Zhao is a Chinese play of the Yuan Dynasty. In it the hero sacrifices his son to save the life of young Zhao so that Zhao can later avenge the death of his family. In this story, the hero protecting others at the expense of his children's life embodies the spirit of his...
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