How Does Shirley Jackson Use Tradition In The Short Story The Lottery

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Pages: 3

In the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the people of a small town congregate to hold a gathering that makes up the lottery. As the children gather stones, families are called alphabetically to pull a paper out of a box. When Bill Hutchinson draws the dreaded marked paper, each of his family members have to draw to see who gets chosen. Bill’s wife, Tessie, had the paper with the black dot on it. Her friends and family are to stone her to death, as tradition dictates. “A stone hit her on the side of the head” (Jackson 30).
Shirley Jackson, in the story “The Lottery”, startles readers by giving a chilling account of tradition in a small town. The people of the town are fearful of rebelling against the tradition of stoning a member to death by lottery drawing. This old custom was held onto by the elders of the town like Old Man Warner when he refers to the “pack of young fools” who have quit doing lotteries (Jackson 28). They need to look at the traditions that are still thriving and evaluate their usefulness. The townspeople have gotten used to this practice and do not appear to be
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She repeatedly uses her lies to try to sway characters to do as she would have them do. Although she is portrayed as a Christian, she is constantly influencing through telling made up stories. The Misfit finally calls her bluff when the family is heading to vacation and they meet up with him through a car accident. They think he may be stopping to help but he ends up having the family taken into the woods and shot. All the while, the grandmother is trying to convince him to spare them by telling him he can be forgiven and sharing the gospel with him. “If you would pray, Jesus would help you”, she said to the Misfit (O’Connor 38). In the end, she was killed anyway and dies with a smile upon her