The Importance Of Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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“When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow” - (Anais Nin). We practice many traditions without putting much thought into it. Giving testimony in court requires an oath on the Bible; although it descended from an old English customs, it is still in place in the U.S courts. Many people become so disciplined to their tradition that they will follow it without questioning its morals. In Shirley Jackson’s novel, The Lottery, Jackson begins the story off in a sunny village, where tradition plays a significant role in keeping the village peaceful. To take part in their yearly tradition, the eager villagers gather together, waiting for the arrival of Mr. Summers and the black box. The…show more content…
“Clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer clay; the flowers were blossoming profusely, and the grass was richly green.” Although it’s shortly before the traditional ritual of where they implement the most horrible lynch of stoning, the author’s use of word choice makes it seem like nothing is wrong. On the last sentence of the first paragraph, the author provides another example of irony, “the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o’clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner.” This quote reveals that the villagers know what will occur during the tradition. They regard stoning as a small incident which cannot delay their daily activities. Food gives up the energy to function our life, but in the short story, the food turns into the catalyst of killing. Blinded by their tradition, their oblivion and ignorance traits censor them to determine right or wrong. From the quiet beginning to the cruel ending of the story, there are numerous uses of irony to convey the
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