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The Power And Pain Of Traditions

665 words - 3 pages

Traditions are like a two-edged sword. They can be very powerful and helpful or they can be very hurtful and painful. Traditions gain momentum with each passing year, and in many cases they become difficult or impossible to stop. In “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson uses situation irony, suspense, and dialogue to show that some groups of people have traditions they do not want to end, even if there is no reason for the tradition.
One way Jackson shows the importance of traditions is through situational irony. At the beginning of the story, all the people in the town seem sweet and innocent. But by the end of the day, they change, and they throw rocks at Tessie Hutchinson and kill her. Mrs. Hutchinson is the one that loses the lottery and she says, ” It isn't fair.” And then a stone hit her on the side of the head.“ (Jackson 5) The stones they use to throw at Mrs. Hutchinson are from the piles of stones collected by the kids in the morning. Every year it is a tradition to do the lottery, and by the end of the lottery the townspeople kill one of the people that lives in the town. In this particular town, even the women and children are not protected from death.
Jackson shows suspense by describing what is going on throughout the story and by not having as much dialogue at the beginning of the story. She creates suspense by describing the people of the town and how the day starts without having any dialogue. Jackson adds suspense by making everyone in the town wait for Mr. Summers to set up the black box in the center of the town. “The villagers kept their distance, leaving space between themselves and the stool,” (Jackson 1) where the black box was situated. Jackson continues to create suspense by having one man of every household pick a piece of paper from the black box and making them wait until every man has picked a piece of paper. It is a long...

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