Death In The Short Story 'The Lottery'

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Tradition is important, but does it justify death? In the short story “The Lottery”, this topic is explored. When a small village gathers for their annual lottery, readers assume that this is like any other lottery. As the story unravels readers come to realize that this lottery is a sacrificial ceremony where a member of the village is chosen to be pelted by stones to death to ensure a good harvest. Tradition can be dangerous, this is explored through the setting, foreshadowing and the theme in this short story. The conflict between a person and society is explored by the setting of “The Lottery”. “The Lottery” takes place in a small village. Small towns, are usually isolated and have traditions and social norms that even if dangerous,…show more content…
Early in the story, the author wrote: “their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed.” This inquires why they chose not to laugh indicating it may be a somber occasion. There is also mention of tuneless chants and ritualistic salutes. Lotteries are usually for money and money symbolized greed. This questions why there would be ritualistic chants and salutes as a lottery if lotteries provide greed when most times religion tells its followers not to be rapacious. Lastly evidence of foreshadowing is shown when Old Man Warner says “Lottery in June Corn be heavy soon”, this questions how the lottery is connected to crops. Foreshadowing gives insight as to why tradition can be dangerous because the foreshadowing indicates the use of a human sacrifice that occurs at the end of the story. Lastly,the theme itself,tradition can be dangerous is the main indicator as to why tradition can be dangerous. Tradition causes one person per year to be killed in the village. Death shouldn’t be associated with tradition, yet because tradition is archaic, people believe that it's okay to partake in it. Even when Tessie Hutchinson screamed ‘it isn’t fair, it isn’t right”, people still threw stones at her. A tradition within a society can be dangerous because society believes that because something is old that it is right. Therefore the theme is tradition can be dangerous explains how dangerous customs can
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