Old Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

1001 Words5 Pages
Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery”, discusses the problems of old traditions. Newer generations have questioned the old hierarchies and beliefs of their ancestors, persuading others to change their society with new ideas. The modern culture has tried to eliminate old tradition to move forward in their culture. As a result, old tradition become “dead” to the younger generation, changing from writing to the digital world. Jackson’s “The Lottery” reflects on the topic of newer generations eliminate older traditions through the poetic elements: finding the symbolism of the box, discover the moral allegory of the lottery and reflect Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson as a tragic hero.
One way that Jackson talks about old tradition is the box itself. This box has been used many years in the village where it has become rusted over time. Mr. Summers planned to use a new box, but people disagreed because the old box holds old memories of the lottery. However, the black box is “faded out” and “shabbier” each year due to the usage of the box (328, par. 6). The elders kept the black box to continue the tradition, hoping their children will continue as well; they had it since they settled in the village. This old-fashioned black box
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For the second time, Mr. Summers argued about the flaws with the lottery; this time is the chips of wood. Since the population has increased to more than “three hundred” people, Mr. Summers substituted wood for paper (328, par. 6). This is the only change people agreed to Lottery tradition, preserving their beliefs. Changing from wood to paper is similar how humans change oral and written communication to digital communication.; it inspires people to find a new way of doing tasks in order to become easier for others. However, it causes panic for the elders when they have to do everything in a digital
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