Discarding Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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In Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery the author creates a complex world, a world that possibly could resemble our world that we live in. Every year the villagers culminate in a violent murder, a bizarre ritual that suggests how dangerous tradition can be when people blindly follow it. Shirley Jackson is a master at manipulating her reader, a tactic that pays off as the story unfolds and all of the things that once seemed pleasant are shown to have a very dark side. Jackson emphasizes the necessity of discarding the tradition of the lottery, because it doesn't fit in present day times. This allusion of sacrifice also suggests that the villagers view the lottery as normal, even necessary, as it is ritualized. To the villagers, the yearly stoning…show more content…
However, the villagers refuse to replace it, another symbol of their harmful stagnancy. Jackson also portrays the village as having outgrown the tradition through a metaphor regarding the slips of paper. Wood chips were used before, but as the town expanded, only large quantities of paper would fit inside the black box. The town has grown out of the tradition, but instead of discarding it, they still stubbornly uphold the yearly lottery. The baffling part that Jackson is really trying to point out is the realization that real people in society actually could injure themselves into to these senseless conventions. She is also representing that time and again these so called civilized people are violent, hurtful, irrational, and in general just mean toward one another. Perhaps that's another way to look at the community fabricated by Jackson, a world in which represents our…show more content…
This is shown by the senseless murders that the villagers partake in each year. Jackson's story also shows how the world she created relates to the world that we live in. A world in which people continue with ritualized traditions like putting up Christmas trees, and acting with great animosity toward one another. Subtle hints throughout the story, as well as its shocking conclusion, indicate that the villagers' tradition has become meaningless over time, like the traditions that we still follow today. What's particularly important about tradition in The Lottery is that it appears to be eternal, no one knows when it started, and no one can guess when it will end. Its apparent lack of history is what makes tradition so powerful it's like a force of nature, and the people of the village can't even imagine rebelling against
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