Happened Vs Lottery

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When one thinks of power, they usually picture a person or being who has control over another person or population. Even though power is often depicted or seen this way, power can also be an atmosphere or tradition that people obey and follow for generations. The short stories,“The Day It Happened” and “The Lottery,” show the similarities and differences between these two types of power. Sometimes power remains in the hands of the same person or being while other times it shifts from one person to another. Some people do not realize they have power, which causes them never to use it. Power can not only be seen as literal oppression and tension between humans or characters, but also can be seen as perceived control where a tradition or belief…show more content…
The people in the society presented by the story have a ritual where they select one member to be stoned to death. The selection process is done by a lottery. A family is chosen and then one of those family members is selected to be stoned. This violent, horrid ritual has maintained a power over this group of people for many generations. It is a perceived power, and even though the people have the ability to stop and end it, they continue to let it be a part of their lives and culture. The people in this society have an unknown power because they can stop the tradition and prevent future members from being stoned to death. This tradition is performed by many societies in the area. The narrator says, “The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days and had to be started on June 26th (Jackson 127). The story implies that this village is not the only society that conducts this ritual. Since these are not the only people who participate in the tradition, they have an opportunity to make a change in the world. They have the power to stop it and let the other communities know that it is unnecessary and cruel. These people have the power to make a difference in the world, but they do not know they have this power. They continue to allow the ritual to control their lives. One of the characters, Mrs. Hutchinson, at the end of the story comments on how this ritual is not right. She says, “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (132). The ritual in “The Lottery” has power over society, but the people are unaware that they can prevent the ritual from controlling their
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