Tradition or Annual Murder?

Topics: The Lottery, Stoning, Shirley Jackson Pages: 2 (743 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Tradition or Annual Murder?
"It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, as her fellow villagers end their inhuman tradition. The story takes place in a very small village where tradition is kept no matter what and very important to the villagers. Their tradition is not like any other and is a yearly event, which has been named the lottery. The lottery is not like the typical lottery where one is a winner of money or something good but is one in which a person in the village is randomly drawn from a black box, and then violently stoned by friends and family. In "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson illustrates how people can perform cruel acts towards others in the acceptance of tradition, even when they know it’s wrong. Some have suggested that the lottery be put to an end, but most found the idea unheard of because they have lived most of their lives performing the tradition. Shirley Jackson uses several themes and symbols to depict the main theme throughout the story. The shabby black box is one symbol that was used to help illustrate the main theme of the story. The box represents the tradition of the lottery and the loyalty to it by the villagers. The story states that “Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box”. The black box is falling apart and not completely black anymore after years of use, but the villagers refuse to alter it. The only reason the villagers have as a defense to not change the box is a story that the present black box was made from pieces of the original black box. There are parts of the tradition, from which no one wants to change just because the lottery has always been done a certain way. Old Man Warner points out that over the years there were things that have been changed or forgotten in the lottery process. One example is Mr. Summers changed from wood chips to paper slips so that it would fit in the...
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