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How Does Shirley Jackson Use Tradition In The Lottery

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Shirley Jackson: The Lottery When you think of a tradition what comes to mind? Perhaps it is linked with your family’s core values, beliefs, or has significant meaning. Specifically, traditions are beliefs passed down from generations, they are not declared righteous or sinful, why they were born or still exist. Why do people follow traditions so mindlessly without knowing the purpose of it? Is it because it is the way it has always been done? In “The Lottery,” a short story, by Shirley Jackson, she uses literary elements such as setting, irony, and symbolism to portray the theme of tradition. The author, in this instance, conveys the existence of a tradition, that is not defined, could cause you to deliberately lose your life. As the narrator begins the story we start to visually see the setting. We know it is “a small village approximately three hundred people, around ten o’clock in the morning on the 27th day of June; the sun out, with blooming flowers, and green grass.” The townspeople gather in the middle of town for the lottery; a yearly ritual believed to be necessary for rich and successful crops. Meanwhile, children play and gather…show more content…
However, it is quite opposite of what the story portrays. What the reader does not see from the beginning of the story and does not capture until midway through, is that the lottery is actually something awful. When the lottery processions proceed the story starts to develop a more serious and somber mood. The townspeople show no remorse or empathy for one another and friendships slowly diminish. This is especially true when they know they will soon have to stone to death the villager who has drawn the marked paper; for instance, when Mrs. Delacroix picks up the biggest rock to bludgeon to death, the winner, Mrs. Hutchinson. Despite the heinous crime, no one has ever questioned the ritual, or why, in fact, it still
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