The Lottery Ritual Analysis

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The Lottery is an eerie short tale by Shirley Jackson. In The Lottery, Jackson uses different elements of ritual, tradition, and scapegoating. In summary, The Lottery is about villagers in a small town coming together to commit an extremely disturbing act. Lists of families are written on slips of paper and then put into an ancient black box. Whoever’s name is drawn is later sacrificed by stoning to death. The citizens of this small town believe sacrificing a person will bring them a prosperous harvest. “Lottery in June, bring heavy corn soon,” said Old Man Warner. p?. Jackson uses all elements mentioned before differently throughout the story. For instance, to show ritual, she uses the act of the lottery itself. Meaning, on June Twenty-Seventh…show more content…
An unpleasant thing is not necessarily a ritual, but Jackson defiantly uses ritual as a negative component in this short story. Ritual is similar to a set of rules that must be followed by everyone in the social society. One of the rules of this civilization is that everyone is obligated to put his or her name into the black box. It does not matter the age, even children are subjected to participate, which makes this story all the more gruesome. Jackson uses ritual once again by showing that the townspeople get together at the same time and place every single year. They always meet at Central Square and always on June Twenty-Seventh. At the peak of the summer, just when the crops are about to start growing, someone is murdered as an offering so that the crops grow abundant. The timing is important to this ritual because it makes the villagers believe in the lottery even that much more. For example, if the lottery was performed in winter, they may not be able to see a correlation to the sacrifice and to the plentiful…show more content…
A scapegoat is known as a group or individual that is made to take the blame for something or suffer in the place of others. In this story, the scapegoat was the protagonist named Tessie Hutchison. Tessie was the unfortunate winner of this year’s lottery, so in the end, she was this year’s scapegoat. She was made to take the blame for the other villagers in the belief that they would prosper because of her death. Something ironic about Tessie is she was actually late to this years drawing and she almost missed it. Even though she was tardy, she was still tremendously eager to get on with the lottery, never once thinking she was going to be picked this time. Having a scapegoat is significant to this town because it means only one person has to suffer so that the rest of the village can
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