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Religious And Traditional Symbols In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

741 words - 3 pages

Religious and Traditional Symbols in the Lottery

Religious groups encourage and enforce conformity of their social norms and beliefs upon their members. Religious traditions are usually passed on from parent to child at an early age. In “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson reveals the tradition of the lottery and how all of the villagers conform to the ritual of a human sacrifice. Growing up with an exceptionally religious father I can relate to way of thinking of the villagers that traditions are accepted without questioning.

In “The lottery,” the children were stuffing their pockets with stones before all of the parents had arrived, “ Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones” ( 529). This illustrates that the children were taught what to do in the event of the lottery and by being prepared it shows that they were keen to please their parents.

My father had always pressured me to follow his religious beliefs and traditions. At first I was eager to attend his church sermons and Sunday school because it made me fell like I was pleasing my father and he would reward me with praise and ice creams on the drive home. But as I got older I started to realize that certain rules and regulations of the church were unnecessary and some were even ludicrous. For example, at the age of twelve my father had announced that we would discard our television because the church thought that a television allows us to watch the evils and sinners of the world, as so did the movie theatre and the Friday night junior high school dance. Luckily my mother
disagreed with the whole idea and the television remained . Even though my mother had
not been a true believer in the church she had always gone along with my father’s
traditions for fear of being a disappointment to the church. But when it was her turn
to suffer and to not be able to watch her favorite soaps she didn’t look at the situation in the same way.

This was the case with Mrs. Hutchinson in “The lottery,” she had not seen any crime
in the annual...

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