Tradition In The Lottery

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When thinking of a tradition, most people think of joyful things; baking Christmas cookies or even family game nights on Wednesdays. Traditions create memories, and bonds between familes. But, as shown in the short stories, “Battle Royal” by Ralph Ellison and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, not all traditions are passed in good spirit - such as slavery, discrimination, and sacrifice. Slavery has been a part of culture all over the world for decades. Most people would not see this as a form of tradition but as told in “Battle Royal”, “...been equal (or unequal) eighty- five years ago… eighty- five years ago they were told they were free, united with others of our country in everything pertaining to the common good..” (Ellison). For years,…show more content…
The reason most religions sacrifice, is because they have been taught that if their practicing group gives up something or someone, they will get benefited something in return from their god or other supernatural figure they praise (Wikipedia). The practice of sacrifice has been passed down through generations for centuries. Therefore, it can be considered a type of tradition. In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, a type of sacrifice is described. Each year on the 27th of June, everyone in the village gathered to pick from ‘the lottery’. Although this sounds like a good thing, it is not. The person who picks the winning paper, is the person who gets stoned to death. For years, ancestors have told “lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson). The towns believed that if a person was sacrificed once a year, the corn supply would increase. People of all ages would participate in the terrifying tradition as they were told- men, women, and even little children. This is what the people of the village have been doing for years upon years. Grandparents have been sharing this mandatory tradition to children and grandchildren. This is what they have known to do and they do not plan to stop it anytime soon. Years have passed and sacrifice has become less common, essentially because it is illegal. Over time, traditions get altered, like in “The Lottery”, “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones” (Jackson). They still practice the tradition but they do not remember all the specifics of it. But, they always know to use the stones. This is because it is the intense part, the part that everyone remembers, the part that might even excite people, the part that people look forward to. At the end of the lottery drawing, whoever the unlucky person is, gets stoned to death. The gruesome ending sticks in the minds of the participants which is why it is never

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