The Lottery Shirley Jackson Tradition Analysis

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Following misunderstood traditions allows people to perform harmful actions because it is what they have been taught to do. In the short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson reveals the tragic consequences of not being willing to stand up against traditions that serve no useful purpose in society. Through the use of symbolism, characterization and setting shows the way that even ordinary people pursue traditions that create tension and harmful outcomes to anyone involved. People will blindly follow tradition without questioning it or its outcome. A box that has been used since the lottery started is now on its last leg but when "Mr. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, no one liked to even upset a tradition as was represented by the black…show more content…
Even so, the lottery returns annually, merely because there has always been a lottery. The lottery is an exaggerated example of what can happen when traditions are not investigated by new generations and generations to come. The third major use of symbolism is through the characters themselves. Old Man Warner is firm in his beliefs of following traditions. He never stops condemning new ideas about the lottery. When Mr. Adams mentions that a different village is considering doing away with the lottery, Old Man Warner responded, "Pack of crazy fools... listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to live in caves, nobody work anymore, live that way for a while" (Jackson 246). He is holding onto tradition, even some that are no longer being put to use. He is the perfect symbol of everything that is wrong with blindly following traditions. Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves both symbolize leadership in the wrong way, controlling the citizens who look up to them incorrectly. Even though Mr. Graves nor Mr. Summers are cruel,
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