Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Traditions are by definition, an act to pay homage to the past through usage of symbolism by various means. Such acts of homage can persist for an extended amount of time and tend to evolve with age. Some traditions, however, can seem objectionable to some due to the nature of misunderstanding. But at what point is this line of misunderstanding is crossed? At what point do we see that this tradition is just a political or social ruse and or is more self-destructive than constructive? That is the central point of discontent surrounding “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. Does the label of tradition justify the stoning of a member of society for not once but many times over the course of a year? Is it the fault of certain individuals, or is it…show more content…
Shirley Jackson's “The Lottery” describes a New England-esque town in which its residents have lived within for quite some time due to their familiarity and acceptance of the lottery. In preparation of the event, the children had stuffed their pocket with stones. Jackson further covers for this by stating that they had been out of school and were in a swarm at the meeting for the lottery. Due to the lack of understanding of the event, the reader will allow for this fact to be dismissed as it seems like normal child behavior, to be rambunctious, aimless and spontaneous, this initial belief of the childrens' innocence continues to stick with the reader all throughout the piece. Not only because of the lack of interaction that they have within the story, but due to the social stigma of the reader within our world. From Jackson using children as a symbol with references to the lives comparable to children within our society, we immediately place them within the innocent party as per society's expectations. However, these children are not as innocent as Jackson makes them
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