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Tradition In Roberto Benigni’s Life Is Beautiful And Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

1297 words - 5 pages

We all have traditions in our lives, but most of them vary between us. Where we are the same is that we have a genetic history of traditions. So what defines a tradition? A way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society, culture, etc., for a long time. An inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior. Also a belief or story or a relating to the past that are commonly accepted. This information should help us to understand that we are more tradition oriented that we think. Since the beginning of time there have been traditions that exists in our genetic makeup. From the mammals, animals, and fish that migrate every year to humans celebrating the changing of the seasons or making sacrifices to their Gods. They all are traditions that are followed year to year and generation to generation, most altering only slightly through the years. This helps to establish a tradition of traditions in all species.
As dawn appears on the horizon on the winter solstice we see a great Incan pyramid. Around the base the people gather, they are waiting for the sun to reach the holy alter atop the ancient pyramid. Strapped to that alter is a young maiden who is eerily calm. She is drugged and awaits the glory of her fate. She accepts this fate because this tradition brings great harvests and fortunes to the village, also much wealth and honor to her family. These traditions may seem abhorrent to us in our modern society, and most people do not comprehend how anyone could except something so savage. This is similar to Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. Where a town holds a lottery every year, the objective of this lottery is to stone one of their own to death, and only because it is tradition. In this story the crowd is talking about how some of the other towns are thinking about doing away with the lottery. Then old man Warner states, ”Pack of crazy fools, he says, listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they will be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody working anymore, lived that way for a while. Used to be a saying about Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon. First thing you know, we’d be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There has always been a lottery”, he says this angrily. (4) Possibly these examples of traditions can be attributed to ignorance, mob mentality and/or blind faith. It is only when we question the accepted beliefs and push for change that we can break away to form better less hurtful traditions.
Traditions are not all good or all bad they can vary greatly, such as happy, sad, pleasant, painful, or enlightening. You traditions that consist of the seasonal holidays, remembrance days, birthdays, anniversaries, religious events, etc., and these can vary on an individual basis or possibly regionally. These traditions tend to consists of people coming together and either celebrating,...

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