The Lottery vs. the Village

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Traditions and rituals are important elements which partially define and distinguish a culture. However, blindly-following these traditions that are meant to culturally strengthen a group can result in extreme situations in real life. Some people seem to have lost their direct connection with the tradition and are simply inclining to the benefits it will bring. In the short story, “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson and the movie, “The Village”, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, both the short story and the film employ the theme of traditions and rituals to comment on the danger of blindly conforming, the different attitude in performing the tradition and how unfairness is parallel to the wellbeing of the community.

Both the short story and the movie share the ideology of blindly believing and conforming to traditions. In “the Lottery”,an annual ritual consisting of human sacrifice is mandatory for better crops. The tradition in “the Lottery” has been carried on for decades, and yet no one seems to know when it even originated. As ruthless as it sounds, it has been proven in the story that every year, the winner of the lottery gets stoned to death in exchange of the wellbeing of the village. This tradition may seem entirely merciless in the reader’s perspective, but is viewed as a proper ritual by the community. Likewise, in “The Village”, by M. Night Shyamalan, the elders have established a village across the woods away from the town due to the loss of their loved ones earlier on in their lives. It is commonly believed that “Those we do not speak of” existed in the dark woods to prevent people from leaving the village. The elders create imaginary “monstrous” creatures that live in the dark woods, in order to conserve the village from evilness. The youngsters in the village have been greatly influenced by this ritual that it is beyond forbidden to enter the dark woods, and that death will be resulted by doing so. Both the short story and the movie exist a tradition...
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