Decaying Tradition In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

468 Words2 Pages

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” examines human traditions and the way humans cling to them without necessary probable reasons. The villagers fear of letting go there traditions. Two elements that illustrate the theme of the fading tradition in “The Lottery” are the black box and Old Man Warner. The black box functions as a symbol for the decaying tradition of the lottery. The box is no longer black and it is stained so Mr. Summers tried speaking with the villagers about making a new black box but the villagers did not like the idea so much. The villagers were upset of the idea about making a new box because it was not only a tradition and the villagers also do not like to fool around with tradition, and the villagers loyalty of the tradition but, it also meant something to to the people that made the village. Jackson writes, “There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one …show more content…

Some villagers voiced that some places have quit lotteries or that they were discussing about giving up the lottery and the old man got defensive of the words the villagers were speaking. Such as, when Mr. Adams said to Old man Warner “They do say, that over in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery.” and Old Man Warner's response was “Pack of crazy fools, listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them” (Jackson 240). Meaning that because he is the oldest in the town he believes he knows what is best for the town also since there has always been a lottery and has become a tradition that it can not be discontinued. In conclusion, the black box and Old Man Warner are two elements that illustrate the theme of fading tradition in “The Lottery”, from which no one wants to deviate because the lottery must take place in just this way because this is how it’s always been

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