The Lottery Comparison of Tradition

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Margaret Urquhart
Professor Daniels
ENC1102
15 March 2013
An Outrageous Tale
Standing in line for hours, impatiently waiting for the front doors of our favorite stores to open, to be nearly trampled upon for discounted items, is a tradition we, as Americans, like to call Black Friday. Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. To get people in the spirit, most major retailers open before the sun comes up and offers promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. Americans consider “getting in the spirit,” by waking at the crack of dawn to pry items out of other people’s hands while at the same time getting pushed and shoved by crazy amounts of people on the same hunt.

We call a tradition; a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance that has origin from the past. Black Friday is the one tradition that I thought was the worst until reading “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson. Jackson uses irony to suggest an underlying evil, hypocrisy, and weakness of human kind. Jackson shows many important lessons about human nature in this short story including barbaric traditions in a supposedly civilized village, the community’s hypocrisy, and how violence and cruelty take place.

"The Lottery" tells the story of an annual tradition in a small village, where the people are close and tradition is paramount. The Lottery is a yearly event in which one person in the town is randomly chosen, by a drawing, to be violently stoned by friends and family. The villagers don’t really know much about the lottery’s origin but try to preserve the tradition nevertheless; they believed that someone had to be sacrificed to insure a good crop. "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon," said Old Man Warner. The villagers allow an outdated tradition to run their lives and control whether they live or die. The black box...
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