Theme Of Ignorance In Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'

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People have always had an overwhelming desire to be accepted by others, and will even adopt the morals of their peers in order to conform to society. In the story “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson depicts the danger of ignorance and the extent in which it influences society. Not only is this applicable to the story, but is also relevant to the real world and historical events such as witch hunts. In the short story “The Lottery,” a group of villagers join together each year for their tradition. The Villagers’ blind acceptance of their annual tradition has allowed ritual murder to become a part of their town fabric. Despite the immoral nature of the tradition no one is willing to object to it. The author shows that the villagers don't …show more content…

Even though people never found any real witches, they felt as though they had some sort of duty that warranted them to punish women that they believed to be a witch. Throughout history, a myriad of women have been hated, tortured, and even killed due to an irrational belief that turned into a cultural tradition. In a recent article from King's university, the author Hayden Simpson attempts to explain the origins and causes of witch hunts. In this article he states, “ Ignorance was the predominant factor in these witch hunts.” A recent study conducted by Andy Dwyer concluded that people will blindly follow morally questionable orders given by peers. Andy Dwyer states, “ What I found is the same situational factors that affected obedience in Milgram's experiments still operate today.” These studies demonstrate people's capacity for evil and support the idea that people's morals are greatly influenced by others. This precept is also relevant to the theme of “The Lottery.” Ignorance has always been prevalent in society. Events such as witch hunts support this notion. In the story “The Lottery” the author provides an extremely valuable theme that is not only relevant to the story, but in the real world as well. From this theme people should assimilate that critical thinking is vital to the general well being of society, and without this the world would be a

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