Shirley Jackson Tradition

798 Words4 Pages
Do you know the origin of your tradition? This world is filled with a various types of customs and beliefs that has been passed down form generation to generation but a huge number of people don’t know where those beliefs came from. Many people grow up to follow certain traditions without knowing why they follow that tradition. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a good example of how dangerous it is to blindly follow a tradition. This story is about a small village thats follows a tradition of sacrificing a random person every year in order for the corn to grow and prevent disorder in the village. However, they didn’t actually know why sacrificing a human being would make the corn grow or keep their village in order. It was just something…show more content…
When Tessie Hutchinson was chosen to be sacrificed, her whole perspective on the lottery changed. The rules of the lottery were that every head of a family would come up one at time and choose a random piece of paper out of a box. Whoever chose the paper with the black dot, their whole family had to randomly select a paper and whoever chose the paper with the black dot was stoned to death. Mrs, Hutchinson never had a problem with lottery before. However, everything changed when Bill Hutchinson, her husband, chose the paper with the black dot. Tessie stated that it wasn’t fair because Bill was rushed to choose a paper and he didn’t get to choose the one he wanted but there was nothing she could do about it. After that, all the people who lived in the Hutchinson household, which were: Bill, Jr., Nancy, Dave, Bill and Tessie, had to choose a random paper. Unfortunately, Tessie chose the paper with the black dot. Tessie kept trying to convince everyone that it wasn’t fair because Bill didn’t get enough time to choose but she was wasting her breath. She was eventually stoned to death. The sad part was that everyone, even her own family didn’t hesitate to throw stones…show more content…
The villagers blind acceptance of the lottery allowed a ritual murder to become a custom to the town. They were afraid to change their customs even though there was no one forcing them to change. It is sad that these ordinary people easily kill someone when they are told to. They don’t even know why they have to kill someone in order to keep their world sane. They just know the fact that they’ve always held a lottery to kill someone. If the villagers stopped to question it, they would be forced to ask themselves why they are committing a murder. Unfortunately they are not strong enough to question it. For them, the fact that its a tradition, is a good enough reason for them to sacrifice someone every year. This is the consequence when you don’t know the meaning and the origin of your
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