Truth In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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The struggle for truth has arguably inspired and produced the greatest achievements in human history. Truth is only attainable through change, and to change is to be open to truth. History's overwhelming presence of biases and dogmatism has contributed to stifled progress and deprived men from pursuing the truth. To oppose a viewpoint contrary to one that is strongly believed in, is characteristic of humans; however, few are open to change, even when confronted by the status quo. If observed, further, it is found that views which substitute the consensus for an objective standard have certain consequences which few would accept. The open-minded Galileo advocated that the earth revolves around the sun, with which few agreed during his lifetime,…show more content…
The extreme tradition in Shirley Jackson's, "The Lottery," produces no positive difference, but rather only a negative difference. The traditional belief upheld by the agrarian village in Jackson's story is human sacrifice, which aims at satisfying their gods so that they may have a copious harvest. When the lottery session determined that Tessie Hutchinson won the lottery, she said in response, "it isn't fair." (Reading Literature and Writing Argument) Tessie believed prior to winning the lottery that she was going to lose; however, she became a victim of her overconfidence. I contend that Tessie believed the lottery was a fair system until she became its victim, which is probably true for all the other villagers. A majority thinks they are right until they are able realize they are wrong; and only on the outside, are they able to see it all for what it really is on the inside. In "The Lottery," tradition continues to exist, because those who have the fortune of seeing why it's wrong, are unfortunately killed before they can spread their discovery; similarly, majorities squelch the ideas of minorities to prolong their…show more content…
Martin Luther King, in his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," shows the reader how a minority should fight for what is right and true when against a majority. King's suggestion provides a way of attaining greater social cohesion, by encouraging peaceful protests for one's cause, and for their beliefs and actions to be supported by arguments and evidence; not emotional appeals and/or dogmatism. Tradition thrives in majorities, because those who have the fortune of seeing why it's wrong, are, in many cases, unfortunately suppressed and are thus unable to promulgate their viewpoint; it is the majorities that squelch the ideas of minorities to prolong their interests. The only ray of hope we can have for a brighter future is one reinforced by positive change accompanied with open-mindedness; for then will truth and mankind's successful progress be within our
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