Traditions In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

Better Essays
Traditions have been around for as long as we have been on the earth. As humans we don’t like change, so having a ritual that we repeat every year is the sense of normalcy we crave. People will go through the same hurtful cycle, even though they know it’s wrong or not working, simply because it is all they know. Unlike common belief, giving up harmful practices is not the same as giving up culture. People hold onto tradition because they feel that giving it up is taking them away from where they came from. What they don’t realize is that their practices can be harmful and demeaning, which can end up making people resent where they came from. According to Lauren Hersh, an advocate for youth, “While many traditions promote social…show more content…
They draw names at random and the “lucky winner” is stoned to death, in some sick way of “cleansing” their town. They all take part in something they know is wrong, all because they are too afraid to speak up in what they believe in. This tradition brings out the worst in people. Friends turn on friends, family turns on family. The town acts so helpless and indifferent towards the ritual, a lot like the government and how people don't stop to question what their government is doing or if any actions committed by government officials are wrong. One argument pulled out of this story is that even the closest of families and the closest of friends can be pulled apart by traditions. Although some traditions pull families and friends apart, others can work to pull them…show more content…
Unlike family traditions that help bring people together, this tradition manages to rip families apart. It does however bring the town together. The act of the whole town stoning Mrs.Hutchinson binds them together and makes them all guilty of her death. Jackson speaks about the whole town joining together and each picking up a stone to throw at Mrs.Hutchinson, “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones. The pile of stones the boys had made earlier was ready; there were stones on the ground with the blowing scraps of paper that had come out of the box”. The stones had been sitting their ominously the whole town, the thing that brought them together in their crooked ways. The stones binded them through pain, guilt, suffering, and ignorance. After they committed the act, they walked away carrying the sin together. It was a disgraceful act, but it brought them together
Get Access