Human Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, published in 1842, entails of a short story with an unpredictable twist and erratic ending, as the reader undergoes an epiphany- realizing this type of lottery is not one wants to win. On June 27th, at 10 O’clock AM, an annual lottery takes place. Each town’s member has their name called and must choose a slip of paper from a black box. The individual who picks the paper with the black dot must then have their family draw again and the individual who obtains the black dot “wins”. Each member in the town turns their back on one of their very own, as the winner becomes stoned. This short story contains numerous interesting concepts which makes the story twisted and dark, but also gives a realization of what humans are capable of doing, even in today’s society. What can be said about the human condition is our sense of keeping tradition and the fear and anxiety of giving it up. Humans refuse to give up tradition, even if one must sacrifice one of our own kind, showing the disturbing side of the human race. What I found most interesting in the short story “The Lottery” is how easily persuade humans can be, especially with a given authority figure guiding our own actions. The individuals in the town simply follow and obey the tradition…show more content…
Old Man warner consistently “warns” the town, saying that there is “Nothing but trouble…” in regards to towns giving up the lottery and that “[t]here’s always been a lottery”. Having been attending the lottery for years, he warns those around him about the towns giving up tradition, as he indicates the importance of keeping such an impacting custom. Mr. Graves may indicate the impending death soon to happen to the one who strives to break tradition, as graves contain the human corpse of those who
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