The Lottery Essay

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Lorianna Renteria Professor Diane Hart English 11 8 March 2012 SWA #2- The Lottery In the short story “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, suppression plays a big part in the story. In Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: the Use of Reason in Everyday life, it gives an example of a student failing a certain class, “a student failing a statistics course may block his anxiety by thinking about happier events- his new girlfriend, an upcoming dance, a sports event- or anything else that will suppress his deep-seated fear of failure,” (pg. 136). The reader can see this type of suppression in the story because although everyone fears their family and family members will get picked as “the lucky lottery winner,” they put those thoughts aside because they know if they do this ritual, they will have a healthy crop growth, and as an old saying goes, “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon,” (Jackson). There are many other terms that tie into this story for example: herd instinct, traditional wisdom, cultural lag, and scapegoat. Herd instinct and cultural lag are a major part in “The Lottery.” “Finding ourselves in a culture in which everyone covers certain parts of the body, we feel uncomfortable leaving those parts naked” (pg. 124), this is precisely how this village goes about the lottery. They all take part in the lottery because it’s what their society does, and to not take part in it, is going against the traditions; therefore if a certain family didn’t take part in it, they would be frowned upon. Followed by this is cultural lag, because even though they don’t go about the lottery tradition, as said in the story, “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones”(Jackson), they still have this lottery. “This is no doubt one reason for what sociologists call culture lag, the tendency of practices and

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