"The Lottery" Theme Analysis

1233 Words5 Pages
A Dusty Tradition
Shirley Jackson delivers a riveting message in her tale “The Lottery,” which packs a heavy blow to the roots of far-outdated traditions in today’s modern world. This work speaks volumes about the unwillingness of most people to let go of customs and embrace not only modern ideology but even moral integrity. Although the theme of this story seems to be quite simply and obviously about tradition, there are some minor aspects of this story to break down which all root back to the central idea. These sub-themes include the willingness of people to follow suit without question, the unpredictability of “winning,” the shifting of priorities under pressure, and most importantly the level of comfort that the villagers display in such a morally heinous act.
It is clear that Jackson placed much effort into creating a scene of excitement, eagerness, and anxiety in this year’s lottery. While following along with the story, the reader is engulfed in a seemingly elated setting to which the whole town shuts down for their yearly event. The scene is filled with details of the black box, its contents, and the conductor, Mr. Summers. The average reader is so engulfed in detail that the purpose of the lottery almost seems to be a secondary concern. This all changes fast, though, as soon as the black dot is found. It is almost baffling when the reader realizes the severity of the situation that was presented in such a calm and nonchalant manor.
A critical issue in discussing the theme of this story would have to the blind following of this obviously immoral tradition. Every year this town gathers to partake in a violent murder in a seemingly cult-like ritual, but ironically the story suggest nothing more than average people whom share similar ethics with the rest of us. Though the final result of the gathering is treacherous, it is clear to see that the

More about "The Lottery" Theme Analysis

Open Document