A Towns Tradition: “The Lottery”
In Shirley Jackson’s short story “ The Lottery”, the tradition starts off even before the birth of Old Man Warner, who has now been doing the lottery for seventy seven years. This story is shown in third person and instead of the narrator telling us the characters thoughts and feelings, the narrator chooses to show through the lottery opening up and changing its route. Through the course of the years there had been some customs that have been dropped or changed. They used to use chips of wood but substituted that for pieces of paper. Also a recital preceding the lottery and a salute to address each person has been lost.
June 27th has become the date as to each year they without thinking and brutally murder one of their own people. No one really questions why or what from that this tradition had begun, except Mr. Adams, says “over in the north village they’re talking of giving up the lottery.” Old Man Warner responded to this in a way that shows how older people to not care for change nor would they accept doing it. He says “Pack of crazy fools, listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them…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.” The way Old man Warner is thinking throughout life can be pretty dangerous. That is by following tradition blindly and not questioning why they are being passed down from generation to generation.
The story foreshadows in the beginning of the lottery when Tessie Hutchinson shows up late. At this point the focus is already on her and the lottery didn’t begin yet. Once her family is selected, Tessie then complains that “it wasn’t fair”. She is still complaining as they are stoning her to death but no one listens, not even Bill, Tessie’s husband. By the way Jackson describes the beginning of the