Selfishness In The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

1384 Words6 Pages
Many people believe that humans are altruistic and that it is in our human nature to care and love for another, however, when we are put in a dangerous position, our innate selfishness nature will on most occasions, and among most of us, prevail. It is such situation that we will find us putting ourselves before our family, relatives, and friends. The selfish and self-loving trait comes to the surface in such circumstances. On many occasions for instance, people commit inhumane acts that hurt or affect other persons on way or another and yet when asked about their reasons for such actions, they come up with excuses that cannot suffice to reasons or even justification of their actions, due to a simple reason; the real reason is the selfishness…show more content…
In the story, every character had a reason to justify why they acted in a certain ways that they did. Normally people come up with reasons that they believe can be used to justify their acts. Some come up with poor excuses such as, “I felt like he was always on my case.” “Why do they have to blame me for everything?” In Jackson’s story, the people have a tradition that is viewed as being ‘thoughtless’ with selfish and evil motives that are justified with the excuse that they are of the society’s own good. In the story, Jackson brings about the aspect of selfishness. The society wants the tradition that they have been practicing to continue in order for them to harvest good crops. The society put a lot of value on the crops that they harvested. They assumed that with good crops then they would have money that will give them the capacity of taking care of their families. The Lottery was to be done in June failure to which they would have harvest no corn. The society was scared to abandon their tradition even though there was no enough evidence that the tradition did not bring the good crops that they wanted. Being in a group of people can influence the decisions that we make. We often find ourselves going with the group…show more content…
Evil actions that the society at large in one or another uses to justify its selfish nature. People have for a long time supported their actions by saying that the end is always justified by the means. This statement has made individuals act in manner that are not humane and in the end explain their actions that they have achieved what they wanted even though they did not do it in the right and ethical way that well serves the moral good of the society. One however needs to reason and ask the selves to what extent does this end justify the means. Does acting in a manner that hurts and affects others in a negative way just so as to obtain or achieve certain positive results, right? Does the mere fact that a positive result is going to be achieved, justify one’s acts of selfishness? The right, ethical and moral answer to these questions is always a no. If the tables were turned and the doer placed on the receiving end, the end would not come even close to justifying the means. However, because one finds themselves on the right side where they are not affected by their actions, they can afford to use the phrase ‘ends justify means’ to justify their actions. This however does not appear to be the same reasoning to a large group in our society. In Jackson’s story every war is seen as an awful thing to indulge

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