The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

809 Words4 Pages
Daniel Tercero
Professor Conness
Feb. 19, 2013
The Dangers of Blindly Following Tradition The central idea is the author’s implied comment on the subject of the story. In “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson, the central idea reflects the dangers of blindly following tradition. Tradition plays a huge role in our society; it provides reason for certain actions within a community without ever having a reason to do something outrageous to begin with. Jackson uses the villagers as an example of blindly following tradition as a terrible but accepted ritual in the small town. Although the traditional lottery has allowed for murder in the town, the villagers feel powerless to change it, leading to chaos but moreover focusing on Jackson’s implied comment on the subject of the story by using the setting to understand the dangers of blindly following tradition. In “The Lottery”, Jackson provides us with large amounts of details about the day of the lottery. The details are specific and play a huge part of the setting. In the first paragraph, Jackson describes the setting by giving us the date, time, and temperature. In this scene Jackson lists a couple more important pieces of information such as the scenery through flowers and green grass, the town square, and the post office and bank. She even explains the specifics of the town, like how many people are living there, or which town neighbors this one, just so that we can see the difference between an older community who takes part in tradition, and a younger community who has forgotten the principles of tradition. The story continues with specifics in detail and sharp images that tend to build suspense towards every oncoming sentence. With the original setting in mind, a sudden change that occurs will quickly alter the story. More often than not, the setting supports the central idea of the story, so any changes

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