The Lottery: Living with a Habit and Tradition

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is about a small village of people gathering on June 27th for a “ Lottery. ” Everybody stopped what they were doing and went to the center of town for the lottery. This tradition has been going on way before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born. The lottery was simple but horrific at the same time. All the men in the town would draw a card, then if the man of the household couldn’t do it, the eldest son would if there no eldest son, the woman of the house does it. When they open their cards who ever holds the card with a black dot on is chosen. Then their family has to have everybody in their household draw again, and the person that draws the card with black dot is stoned to death.

The lottery to the characters was just another day. Mr. Summers even said “Well, now guess we better get this started, get this over with, so we can go back to work. ” The townspeople just think that if you have a sacrifice that their crops will grow. Old man Warner said, “Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody works anymore, live that way for a while. Used to be a saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon. ‘First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery. ‘ This old man doesn’t like change at all, he basically wants it to stay the same way until after he dies.

Most of the characters just settle down when they come to the center of the town, and after they picked who would be sacrificed they hurriedly and kill her so they can go back to work. The villagers are completely tired of the fact that the lottery occurs, but they don’t question it they just go with it. The reason being is because that’s all they really know. The lottery is something that happens once a year and that’s something they had to grow with. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Adams gives a hint to Old Man Warner that other towns have quit their lottery and maybe they should do so also.

I feel as if the fear of change is apart of the continuation of the lottery. Most of it is the villagers natural resistance against change. It would be unbelievably weird for the villagers to change and stop the tradition, even though there is no reason for them to continue this harsh thing. The villagers don’t even remember the reason for the lottery so what is holding them back from stopping this tradition?

The lottery is a very harsh tradition that most of the villagers don’t want to continue but they have to for tradition. The only real reason that they keep it going is because of Old Man Warner. He keeps telling them that they are stupid and arrogant for wanting to end it. He just doesn’t understand the reason that they ended it. There is a lot that they could do to change this tradition but they don’t.


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