The Lottery

Topics: Village, Tradition, Traditions Pages: 1 (485 words) Published: October 30, 2014

The story, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson is about tradition. A word usually tied to happy events like anniversaries, family vacations, and holidays, Jackson presents the concept in a much more sinister light. While there are hints of what is to come, the events portrayed are similar to what one would expect to find in a small village's long standing custom. The first, misleading bit of evidence lies in the very first paragraph. The day is described as "clear and sunny", with "flowers blossoming profusely and richly green grass." A perfect, rustic setting in which a town of three hundred gathers to "enjoy" a yearly event. The theme of tradition holds strong in that the women exchange gossip while waiting, the event is conducted by the same person who organizes the town's "square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program", and the fact that no one in the village has any desire to see the black box replaced. The tradition being carried on is so old that "the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born." It is the second paragraph, when the children begin gathering stones, that the reader can first realize that things are not going to go as expected. The author's view on traditions begins to show in the fifth paragraph, where you learn that not only has the method of "choosing" changed, but that once the ceremony is over the black box is stored as if it were an extra pair of shoes. Most telling are the reactions of Mrs. Hutchinson and Old Man Warner. When it is time for Mr. Hutchinson to draw a slip of paper, his wife encourages him jokingly. Warner, when informed that nearby villages have given up the lottery, informs everyone that it is his seventy-seventh year participating and that the tradition is just fine with him. Even when Bill Hutchinson finds that he has drawn the spot, it is only his wife out of the entire family that registers any discontent....
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The Lottery Essay
  • The Lottery Essay
  • The Lottery Essay
  • Essay about The Lottery
  • The Lottery Essay
  • Essay on The Lottery
  • The Lottery Essay
  • The Lottery Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free