The Impact Of Society And Tradition On Behavior

833 words - 4 pages

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is possibly the most controversial short story in its history. It received a powerful reaction when it was first published to The New Yorker in 1948, which cause many people to cancel their subscription to that magazine. “The Lottery” was censored and banned from many schools and libraries; it was even banned in South Africa. To this day the story still demands a huge reaction from readers.
As I began reading I noticed first of all the title of the story. The word ‘lottery’ usually makes people think of something joyous and exciting because commonly in a lottery you get lucky and win a prize but as I started reading the story I realized it was not headed in the direction I thought it would go. Once I got closer to the ending I finally understood that what I thought Jackson meant by lottery was not actually what she meant and how I thought it would go was not how it went. The story begins very pleasantly, people gathering in the village talking and occasionally laughing. Children are playing around and gathering stones, which Jackson keeps mentioning and it hints that they are significant in some way. Later in the story it is said how the lottery has always been around, and how it is basically tradition for the village. The people do not question it either because it has been around for such a long time. At the end of the story, the horror starts when Mrs. Hutchinson picks the slip of paper with the black spot on it. Mr. Hutchinson was very calm and casual at this point. He did not try to fight back; instead he just accepted his wife’s fate. The stoning of Mrs. Hutchinson commenced as she was yelling that it was not fair.
There is a very uncomfortable calmness in this story about the lottery. The people in the town treat it as a normal event. For example, it is mentioned among the other normal civic activities such as dances, teen clubs, and the Halloween program. Jackson gave off an eerie feel because she is basically equating the lottery to something as innocent as a square dance.
When the day comes for the lottery to happen the people go about it as a daily routine. When Mrs. Hutchinson practically forgot about the lottery and ran out right before it started, it showed me that she did not think anything of it. I feel that these people do not...

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