Tradition And Cultural Rituals In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a story that centers around traditions and cultural rituals. This theme is displayed a multitude of times throughout the story; however, I believe Shirley Jackson was attempting to dig deeper by revealing the true nature of human beings.
The reader’s expectations of the story are falsy set early on. The story begins with “the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers . . . blossoming profusely.” It begins as any reader would expect a story to begin: peacefully. Throughout “The Lottery,” Jackson lures the audience into believing her characters are “normal” by displaying her characters in a way that portrays them as civilized human beings. The villagers patiently wait in line for the dreaded lottery, make small talk with their fellow villagers, and do what they’re told even though they are fully aware of the lottery’s outcome.
However, it is abundantly clear that tensions begin to rise in the story. The first sign that there’s something wrong is “the feeling of liberty [that] sat uneasily on most of [the children].’ One would think that after being released from school for the summer, laughter would be heard throughout the village. Rather than playing games, the children are stuffing stones in their pockets and making piles of them the corner. Another subtle sign of trouble is
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The horrific act of stoning itself is one that is incredibly personal, for it requires participants to be personally involved with the death of their victim. Furthermore, in this story, it is an act that is performed by the entire village: children and loved ones included. By taking the innocence of the entire village away, Jackson leaves the reader to face the part of humanity that everyone knows exists but refuses to
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