The Patriarchal Traditions In The Lottery

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The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, is a short story that takes place in a small town which devotes a member of its own community every year for good corn crop. Even if the story’s name may make us think about money or some good things, it’s ironically sacrificial rite. The story may also provide us an aspect of the traditions of the societies in that time. As we understand from the story, people were attached to the traditions. People obey the traditions without questioning and one of them is the patriarchal traditions. This kind of tradition requires men’s superiority whereas the women are seen as the weakest part in the society and it’s similar to tore as explained in the article “Namus Murders” by Kubilay Akman. The patriarchal traditions in the story may be analyzed from the aspect of both men and women. The lottery itself is organized by only men and all the procedure incorporates with them. Due to the patriarchal facts, men are seen as the heads of each family, so everyone’s destiny is in their hands, just like “family council” in “tore” in Akman’s article. If a family doesn’t have a father, then the head of the family should be the eldest son in place of the mother. Because of Mrs. Dunbar’s husband’s broken leg, he can’t join the lottery but as she offers herself on behalf of her family, Mr. Summers asks for an adult son instead of her. On the other hand, Mrs. Watson’s son’s drawing on behalf of his mother and him is appreciated by everyone. Putting adults aside, even the little children don’t care about women. Martins’ little boy Bobby doesn’t obey his mother’s words but when his father calls him sharply, he obeys his father’s words because unlike his father, mother is not an authority for him. Women also see themselves as weakest part of the society. Sacrificing a woman is given by the author as a symbol of the patriarchy. Another clue which is given by the
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