Tradition: Nostalgia or Out-Dated Savagery?
In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson’s character, Tessie Hutchinson, demonstrates a radical yet accurate perception of the impractical standards set on society due to tradition. The story presents an outlandish tradition of holding a lottery in which the winner get’s the prize of being stoned to death. On the clear and sunny morning of June twenty-seventh, Tessie Hutchinson was the ill-fated chosen one to die. Through this tradition, Jackson demonstrates the blind following of society’s illogical customs and illustrates the fact that people only rebel when the consequence brought about by culture directly affects them.
Human rights have been stunted by tradition. I once asked my mother why she voted for Proposition 8, her response was that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and homosexuals should seek some other word for their union. She is afflicted by the tenacious grip of tradition, and her excuse if focused on semantics. Tessie Hutchinson is a victim of this blind sense of pride for tradition. The town in “The Lottery” would not have such a vile tradition if it was not for their lack of logic or fear of straying away from a seventy-seven year old custom.
Rebellion is the first step to change. If it was not for the colonists rebelling against the British, America would still be ruled by Parliament. If it was not for the counter culture of the sixties, there would still be an active never-ending war in Vietnam. People should not have to endure unfair treatment just because their forefathers stipulated their practice because it was appropriate at the time. Old Man Warren, the eldest of the town, is the leading example of the past generation’s striving for solidity of out-dated virtues when he calls villages off to the north that had quit the lottery a, “pack of crazy fools”. He is completely enthralled with keeping the ceremony the same without even considering if what he believes is actually relevant or...