Banality Of Evil In The Lottery

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For years now psychologists and sociologists have studied how humans think and act. One key interest among both of these is how humans thinking and actions changes in a group setting. . "The banality of evil" used in “The Lottery” is a term used to describe the ways in which seemingly average people commit violent acts while behaving as though these actions are just another mundane, everyday task to accomplish. One example is Doris Lessing’s “Group Minds.” In this article Lessing describes how we as Americans are not the free society that we are led to believe and we conform to groups that we associate with A story that supports Lessing’s examples is named “The Lottery.” The actions of the characters in “The Lottery” like the willingness to…show more content…
They are normal people in a normal town. But when they form a group, or mob, and when atrocity and cruelty are sanctioned by the group, they eagerly participate in the behavior seen in the conclusion. Examples of this would include when the children helped pick out stones for people to use to throw at winners of the lottery. This illustrates how even the children conform. “Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and the roundest stones”(304).The ritual and traditions of the lottery in Shirley Jackson’s story seem to be just as old as the town itself, especially since most of the residents do not recall any of the old rituals, even the Old Man Warner, who is “celebrating" his 77th lottery. This helps illustrate how the people of the village just went on with the lottery without even questioning it. Like during the shock testing in Lessing experiments. The subjects blindly followed orders to obtain information even if it meant killing the person. Even in today’s society we are in social groups that define who we are and we do whatever we can to conform to
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