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Powers Of A Mob Essay

822 words - 4 pages

“All persons ought to endeavor to follow what is right and not what is established” said Aristotle. In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” she explores this power idea of the mob mentality and how it creates pointless violence. The story takes place in a small ordinary village, but every year everyone in the town gathers to have the lottery. The lottery is a ritualistic murder of an innocent person in the town, even the women and children must take part. After the lottery is over the town goes back to normal, as if the lottery never happened. Jackson uses the mob mentality to show the readers the pointless violence in our lives.
All throughout the story, the villagers fall captive ...view middle of the document...

Even the young boys who “made a great pile of stones in one corner of the square and guarded it against the raids of the other boys” (Jackson) is an example of the mob mentality because the boys are taking part in the mentality. The boys learned this behavior for the elders; it was not a part of them from birth. The mob mentality is taught, by years and years of exposer to the lottery and not knowing anything different. To the boys the lottery is a way of life.
Amy Griffin in her article "Jackson's The Lottery” states “Therefore, the base actions exhibited in groups (such as the stoning of Mrs. Hutchinson) do not take place on the individual level, for here such action would be deemed "murder." On the group level people classify their heinous act simply as "ritual."”(Griffin 45) That being stated Mrs. Delacroix and Mrs. Hutchinson “on the individual level, the two women regard each other as friends, on the group level, they betray that relationship,” (Griffin 46) Mrs. Delacroix even “selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar “Come on," she said. "Hurry up."”(Jackson) This shows Mrs. Delacroix enthusiasms to want to murder Mrs. Hutchinson, were a little while ago they were friends chatting socially. What could make someone switch gears so fast from friend to...

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