Scapegoat In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

Words: 466
Pages: 2

In Paragraph seventy-four of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, It portrays Mrs. Dunbar and Mrs. Delacroix picks up stones where paper is flowing on the ground from the box. This story just by reading the title has different interpretations. This story really touches on the old concept of the scapegoat. Scapegoat is a person blamed for wrongdoings of others. Jackson used elements of ancient rituals to create a short story that talks about ritualized behavior and devastating effects of psychology. In “The Lottery”, Tessie Hutchinson is the scapegoat when the lottery takes place in the village; the implication in the story is that the lottery is an annual event. In this town, the scapegoat is used to banish the evils of the society so that the crops will flourish. Thus, two ancient rituals are combined: the notion of banishing evils via a sacrificial victim, and the idea of appeasing higher powers in some way to ensure fertility for the land. Fertility rituals, too, usually involved sacrifice. The people of the town are caught up in the ritual to such an extent that they have given up any sense of logic. psychology …show more content…
No one really knows why the town participates in this horrible tradition. As the omniscient narrator (one who sees all) tells us: The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born. The whole town blindly subscribes to participating in this ritual every year without asking why. They are taught from a very young age that this ritual annual killing is necessary to preserve the good fortune of the town. No one ever asks why, they just do it. When the Graves family loses the lottery, or rather "wins" Tessie, the mother argues, but no one listens because she has actively participated in the past. She wins the final draw and is stoned to death without