Normality In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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What is normal? Normal is described by Sociology: A Down-to-Earth approach as something that conforms to a standard. (Henslin) Standards are different all over the world for different things. This means that normal can come in many shapes and sizes. In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, an unnamed community has a yearly tradition to stone one of their own in the belief that it will make their crops more plentiful. “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson, literature) This seemingly harmless act to the townspeople is considered to be immoral and illegal in today’s society. This is because of the way norms and standards can vary by location and time period The act of stoning a citizen in The Lottery is normalized through the trial and errors…show more content…
In The Lottery, the act of the lottery has taken place for many years. One of the oldest citizens of the town is celebrating his participation in his 77th lottery. He is dissatisfied with the way things related to the lottery have changed. He is also very weary of the communities who have quit practicing the lottery. He describes the communities that have stopped the practice of the lottery as a “pack of crazy fools” (Jackson, Literature) This is an example of how the history of a ritual can establish it as normal. To Old Man Warner, the lottery is normal and essential. History is a major key in the way today’s society functions. Without learning history and its trials and errors, we would keep repeating the same mistakes previously made. The people in the lottery found a way to feed the people of their town by the sacrifice of one life. The lottery is the same idea in that it was a trial and error and has worked for their town, now is essential to keeping the people fed. History helps provide a clear path for the formation of traditions that also help establish social
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