Societal Rituals In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Shirley Jackson’s fictitious story entitled “The Lottery” is an allegorical writing piece of societal rituals and traditions as well as how these rituals affect both social and political cultures. Although Jackson presents her literary work as a somewhat simplistic story about a village that holds an annual lottery every summer, the themes governing the story’s plot delve a deeper analysis regarding the effects and consequences of a structure government on its citizens. In a traditionalism society, the lottery is conducted in a way that illustrates the hierarchy of an organization of people controlled by principles. For example, the people in the village are divided due to their role and purpose of the lottery. Nowhere in the story does any…show more content…
Tessie Hutchinson challenges the ruling in the lottery when her husband initially selects the slip with the black dot; however, her challenge causes a domino effect which, ironically, causes her to be targeted as the sacrificial lamb stoned to death by her own family, friends, and neighbors. As seen in other literary-based selections like The Island and The Hunger Games, the familiar themes of oppression and suppression within a totalitarian and oligarchy government creates an open-space to challenge long-standing traditions that have gone unchallenged or unquestioned. Yes, we see in even these novels/movies where a rage against the machines of tyranny are place, the government still somehow take complete control of their well-being due to their fearfulness and…show more content…
Control is predicated on maintaining law and order within the society. As seen in the actions of Mr. Summers, Mr. Graves, and Mr. Martin in Jackson’s “The Lottery,” the means of control are clearly relegated to the economic and political role of its village leaders, primary rules for a society of freedoms and the ability to help shape or take part in the “We the People” aspect of democracy. Due to villagers’ disposition and the government domination, the danger of blindly following a bizarre brutal tradition speaks power
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