The Dark Society in “the Lottery” Essay

Submitted By cwong1107
Words: 1083
Pages: 5

The Dark Society in “The Lottery” A Lottery symbolizes wealth and fortune for many people; however, “The Lottery,” written by Shirley Jackson, is a pathetic story that reflects the humanity. It was about a ritual held in a village on june27th, every year. During that day, the villagers had to come together; then, every head of the family had to pick a piece of paper. If the men picked a paper with a black spot, he and his family were going to pick the paper in the second time. Then, the person who picked the paper with a black spot in the second time was stoned to death by the villagers. “The Lottery” reveals a dark and vicious society where people are superstitious about the power of ritual, lacking of moral sense to respect their surrounding people, and social inequality in gender. To begin with, the villagers were extremely superstitious in terms of the lottery rights. They grouped together in the morning to wait for the lottery, and they stopped their work also to be able to come to the square on time. However, “the men stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed” (Jackson 2). This showed that they paid a great deal of respect to the lottery even though they knew what would happen after that. Likewise, Mr. Summers wanted to change a new box to replace the old black one, which is “made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here” (2). Mr. Summers’s plan had never passed through because the villagers thought that the old black box had remained the power from the traditional box, and they did not want to change it. Still, The Lottery had been held for at least seventy years, and it increased the likelihood of a good harvest. When MR. Adam revealed that they north village was thinking of quitting the lottery, old Man Warner believed that it would be bad for the village because it might mean poor harvest(Jackson 4). For this reason, the villagers held the lottery for a long period time. On the contrary, there is no evidence to prove that the ritual can bring a good harvest; it just reveals that many people become victims under the superstition of ritual. In addition, the villagers lack care for the well-being of their surrounding people. To illustrate, Old Man Warner said that he had been to the lottery for seventy-seven year (5). This means he had seen many bloody and terrible scenes where the victims were stoned to death because of the lottery, but he did not show any guilt for participating in many murders. Furthermore, when Tessie (Mrs. Hutchinson) was picked as the victim of the lottery, he urged everyone to kill her (6). This action was extremely cold-blooded because he was encouraging the other villagers to commit the murder. Moreover, Tessie’s husband Bill and their children did not take any action to protect her. When Tessie knew her husband picked the paper with the black spot, she was trying to get support from her husband by saying the lottery was unfair. On the other hand, her husband just told her to shut up instead of agreeing what she had addressed (5). Her children did not say any word either. When Tessie picked the paper with the black spot and became the victim of the ritual, nobody stood for her, and her husband and children kept silent. At that time, the villagers just wanted to finish the ritual as soon as possible. Mrs. Delacroix, who talked to Tessie before the lottery started, chose a big stone and picked it with two hands (Jackson 6). This is a heartless behavior because one small stone can already kill a person. Mrs. Delacroix does not have to pick that heavy stone; she could choose a smaller one instead. In the last part of the text, “someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles.” (5) The villagers wanted Tessie’s little son to participate into the murder and kill his mother. These actions indicate that the