The Lottery Essay

690 Words3 Pages

The short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson is a novella that examines the murky side of human nature. The narrative takes place in a little American community where the locals assemble each year to take part in an unusual ritual. The narrative aims to stress the value of uniqueness and critical thought while emphasizing the risks of questioning traditions. Initially, "The Lottery" appears to be a basic account of a tiny village getting ready for an annual ritual. The town's citizens, who gather in the town square to take part in the drawing, approach lottery day with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Tessie Hutchinson, the main character of the novella, is first introduced when she gets to the plaza just in time to join the crowd. …show more content…

No one challenges the purpose of the lottery since it has been ingrained in the town's culture for so long. Even Tessie, who falls victim to the ritual, has in the past taken part in the lottery without objecting. It was obvious that these acts were not rare for the village since the people, “Only half listened to the directions; most of them were quiet, wetting their lips, not looking around” (Jackson). The townspeople who participate in the lottery are not monsters; they are ordinary people who have been conditioned to accept the ritual as part of their way of life. They do not question its origins or its purpose, but simply go along with it because it is what they have always …show more content…

This novella is a statement on how civilizations may develop destructive habits, even when such habits are bad for certain individuals or communities as whole. The lottery acts as a potent symbol for a variety of social evils, including racism, homophobia, and the misuse of authority by people in positions of power. One of the key themes of "The Lottery" is the idea that violence is an inherent part of human nature. Jackson's story suggests that the desire to inflict harm on others can be triggered by social conditioning, and that even ordinary people are capable of acts of extreme brutality. This is a deeply unsettling idea, and one that has relevance to many of the issues facing modern society. At the same time, however, "The Lottery" is also a tale about the possibility of transformation. Even though the town's citizens still play the lottery, it's obvious that Tessie's passing has affected some of them. Jackson suggests that the lottery might not last forever and that there is a chance that the town's citizens would ultimately question the tradition and decide to stop

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