Conformity In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Conformity is a powerful and influential behavior that can drastically affect a society’s circumstances. The morality and wellbeing of the individuals’ in a society are shaped by the everyday traditions and customs of that culture. Shirley Jackson, an award-winning author for her works in horror and mystery, unveils the perturbing effect of conformity on a society and its people in her short story “The Lottery.” In her thought-provoking story, a village situated in a warm area of England prepares to partake in a traditional crop fertility ritual that involves a paper drawing to elect a ‘winner’ who will be stoned to death. The societal conformity to continue this brutal tradition causes the life of a person to be insensitively taken away each…show more content…
The box serves as the only true connection to the beginning of the first lottery. Even though the box is worn out and aged, the village people do not want to disrupt the longtime tradition by changing it. The implication of the box in the story, and similar “boxes” today has with society, is that it is not only a significantly esteemed artifact, but simultaneously a significant hindrance to improving ethics as a people. The narrator explains that “The rest of the year, the box was put way, sometimes one place, sometimes another; it had spent one year in Mr. Graves's barn and another year underfoot in the post office. and sometimes it was set on a shelf in the Martin grocery and left there” (Jackson 389). Jackson gives an impression that the shabby, black box is a personal and constant reminder to the people so that they must remain faithful to the tradition of their forefathers and never ponder on the notion that those customs might be wrong or immoral. In addition, the villagers’ behavior towards the box embodies their assessment on the entire system of the lottery. They seem to be frightened by the lottery and the box, but they are even more petrified to alter or doubt one or the other. Pressures, traditions and longstanding beliefs may potentially guide that society to an extensive ignorance and sanctioned malevolence that is directly strengthened by
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