Traditions Aren't Always Worth Keeping

Topics: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson Pages: 3 (1235 words) Published: December 9, 2010
On the morning of June 27th, a tiny town of about 300 people, meet in the town square for a tradition they call “the lottery.” The kids come first to the square, straight from school, then come the fathers, and then the mothers after they finish the housework. They all stand waiting as they call the names of all the fathers in the families to the front to pull a wood chip from a black box, and the family with the black dot on their wood chip will participate in “the lottery.” Each member of that family will draw a piece of paper hoping is doesn’t contain a black dot. Whoever gets that specific piece of paper will be stoned to death by the whole town. This intense story comes to life in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” written in 1948. This is a very trying story that has a huge impact on the town, and ends with a stoning. This small town has become accustomed to this tradition that will not be let go. After studying the story, Shirley Jackson presents the theme that, People are reluctant to reject outdated traditions, ideas, and/or practices.

According to, Traditions are beliefs or customs taught by one generation to the next, often orally. These traditions are maintained usually by societies and government’s, and share history, customs, culture, the teaching of language, and sometimes education. Traditions are a part of our society today, and some traditions date back to past generations. Us as individuals may have our own traditions in our own family, usually being annual traditions. Government and city traditions are different that family traditions, in the way that, throughout the years traditions may need to be altered or changed depending on the times, as generation change. However, this doesn’t always happen. “The lottery,” is a tradition in this town that is not even a thought when it comes to change. Some people in the town feel that there was a reason this tradition was started, and it should be continued. It has caused a lot of tension...
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