Tradition Stays Put Essay

1305 words - 6 pages

Tradition Stays Put
Easily regarded as one of America’s most beloved short stories, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, leaves readers with excitement and perhaps a small sense of doubt. Doubt could be an aspect of the reader’s mind due to the gory fact of the cultural tradition in the small farming town of the story. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” displays the theme of unwavering ritualistic tradition and symbolism. This means the village is unable to move past their tradition while symbolism is shown through character’s names such as Old Man Warner and Tessie and through various objects in the story like the stool and the black box.
However, another reason tradition stays could be ...view middle of the document...

Perhaps in order for the people of the town to realize what wrong they’re doing they need to lose more and more souls. After a while, they can see that enough is enough, and maybe, it is time to end such a horrific tradition.
Tradition says a lot about the townspeople in the village of “The Lottery.” This certain tradition of the lottery shows that the village has become completely desensitized to the outright killing of humans. The tradition has come to a point where the human life is almost viewed as worthless and insignificant. The townspeople do not go as far as batting an eye when the death is upon them. Old Man Warner says, “Come on, come on, everyone” (Jackson 79, par. 5). This small phrase from Old Man Warner can give just a small glimpse at how there was zero hesitancy to that of stoning Tessie Hutchinson. The villagers in Jackson’s “The Lottery” have become numb to the killing of innocent people; they have become completely worthless.
The village as to which the lottery takes place has devalued the human life. Whatever walk in life one finds himself; tradition impacts ones lifestyle in more ways than one. Traditions are impactful to life no matter if it is a generational tradition, or one that has recently been adopted. Tradition stays solidified to someone, or somewhere due to the closeness and unity it brings people. One may not know how far back this village’s tradition goes, but, it carries on long enough to let the reader know the village does not waiver when it comes to taking the life of a neighbor. This is because the village seems to be unfazed with the stoning of another person, and tradition has made it so this type of lifestyle is acceptable. Surrounding towns have come to the realization that perhaps the lottery needs to be done away with. Mrs. Adams says, “Some places have already quit lotteries,” “Nothing but trouble in that,” Old Man Warner said. “Pack of young fools” (Jackson 76, par. 8-9). These quotes display the contrasting attitudes between other villages and Old Man Warner’s. Even as sick as it sounds, the lottery brings the townspeople together because they are connected by one common goal. And even though such an action as detestable as the lottery continues to happen, the townspeople want to hold onto something blindly because it has been passed down from generations. In this town the goal is the killing of an innocent soul (DiYanni 1, 5). Most of the townspeople believe it is a rash and dumb idea to do away with the lottery, proving that their view of human life is vastly distorted. They let their viewpoint be distorted because the lottery was such “as matter of fact” to them, and the lottery provides them with some sort of closure and a...

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