The Lottery Analysis

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“The Lottery”: You Cannot Win If You Do Not Play, but Everyone Loses When Tradition is Blindly Followed "‘Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones,’" at this moment the horror of the townspeople’s tradition starts to become apparent (223). The methodical and slowly unfolding process leading up to the murder of Tessie Hutchinson, a citizen of the small, unnamed rural town described in the short story, “The Lottery” provides very little hint of the truly awful nature of this villagers’ long held custom. The author, Shirley Jackson describes how the seemingly normal people of this town proceed to kill one of their own in the name of tradition, with nearly no question of why or what for. Jackson reveals the nature of humans to cling to tradition, even if it leads to awful ends, whether it occurs as a result of habit or laziness. As the antagonist of this story, the villagers’ show the danger of following tradition with questioning their origin or purpose. The processes leading up to the lottery that are described in this short story are relatively detailed in comparison to the small amount of information provided as to why it ever began. The lottery has been occurring for at least 77 years and in not just in this town, but other surrounding ones. The closest explanation as to why the lottery began is the mention, ”Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (220). This suggests that the process and sacrifice of the lottery may lead to a bountiful agricultural harvest. But otherwise, the villagers do not seem to have any idea why they are going through all the steps leading up to the lottery or the end purpose. Murdering a person in the hopes of securing a good harvest is not exactly logical, but this idea has truly been part of human history. While the lottery process described is set in an
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