The Role Of Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” the practice of tradition versus what would be considered morally right is perhaps born out of fear of taking a step back rather than progressing so people choose to stick with what is considered the safe route rather than stepping into the world of the unknown in an attempt to save themselves in the long run. Many times people blindly follow a tradition because it is something that has been done for many years, but no one ever seems to stop and question why it is we follow these certain traditions. Tessie Hutchinson, a woman who lives in the village who went along with the tradition of the lottery and never questioned it, that is until she is the “lucky winner” of the June 27th lottery where she calls foul…show more content…
Traditions are events that have a history behind it, but the events that happened in the past start to fade away eventually because the majority of people tend to push away the real reason behind the traditions that they follow. Take for instance a 4th of July celebration, every year people pull out the barbeque grill and throw some meat on the burning fire while sitting around outdoors along with family to view the fireworks show that is presented every year. No one truly knows why there is a big barbeque feast every year for the 4th of July or why there is a fireworks show they just do it because it is a tradition that they grew up on and it brings families together for a time of enjoyment for that one day; therefore, they never question the celebratory event. In the story there is a known village ritual that is usually done around the summer time every year in hopes that the village continues to have healthy, growing crops, every year the village get together and choose one “lucky winner” from a black box that is filled with every family’s name and the chosen one is put up as the sacrifice for that year. Now to some people, they would see these villagers as crazy or even cruel to agree so blindly with something that is so immorally wrong and blatantly evil, such as this ritual, but to the villagers this tradition is simply just an attempt to survive no matter how cruel it may be it is something that they know just has to be done simply because it is a tradition. Mr. Summers; the leader of the lottery, is a person that believes the lottery benefits the community, and in a way it saves them from
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