Amy Griffin’s Article - “Shirley Jackson’s THE LOTTERY” Critiqued
Does a community exist for the sustenance of its custom and tradition or is it the other way around? The community in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” has lost proper perspective of the essence of their “lottery” traditional practice. They became captives of their own community’s tradition such that under its compulsion they engage in very self-destructive acts. They lay themselves and all they have family and all, on the line as sacrifices for their tradition. This aptly depicts the overwhelming and blinding influence custom and tradition can have on humans, distorting their thought pattern and behavior. It robbed this community of morals. This critical analysis is based on Amy A. Griffin’s critical article - “Jackson’s THE LOTTERY”, sourced from The Explicator on Academic OneFile.
According to “The Lottery”, these community members over time found themselves helpless with a lottery ritual that requires their collective lynching to death of one member each year – the lottery “winner”. The lottery winner is the person who picks the one ballot paper with a black spot on it from the village ancient black box. The influence of this tradition was so strong that the “winner’s” husband, Mr. Hutchinson was in the forefront of the activities he knows too well will lead to communal mobbing of his wife and the mother of his children to death. When the winner Mrs. Hutchinson cried “unfair” over the lottery procedure the husband countered “shut up, Tessie.” He was the one who forced the death sentence “winning ticket” out of his wife’s clenched fist and displayed for the community, indicating his wife as the human sacrifice for the ritual. Their little son Dave also had a stone to join the community in stoning his mother to death. Mrs. Hutchison’s very good friend Mrs. Delacroix who moments ago was engaged in a lively conversation with her euphonized the impending tragedy calling it a sport and...
Cited: Griffin, Amy A. “Jackson’s THE LOTTERY.” The Explicator. 58.1 (Fall 1999): p44. Academic OneFile – Document. Web. 08 April, 2014.
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