The Importance Of Tradition In 'The Lottery'

Words: 693
Pages: 3

Walking Blind
Tradition is mostly followed and praised, but its negative and devastating effects are often ignored. “It is our ancestors’ heritage,” many people claim, usually turning their backs on the agony caused by their tradition. In the short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson shows how gormless people can be to follow a tradition while they clearly see how excruciating it is. The village talked about in The Lottery appreciated and followed their tradition but no one ever dared to criticize it- it had always been practiced. The lottery, whose name appears to be good, was an act of extreme cruelty. It was conducted each year just to shed innocent blood. Doing things without a reasonable explanation can be considered as a mixture of ignorance
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“You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair!” (Jackson 4). This was Tessie’s complaint when her husband, Bill, picked the paper with a black spot on it, which meant that he was the winner of the lottery. She complained that everything wasn’t fair in favor of her husband but surprisingly when the second round of the lottery was conducted and Tessie picked the black-spotted piece of paper, Bill never objected in favor of his wife. He just forced the paper out of Tessie’s hands and showed the crowd that she was the lottery’s scapegoat. Tessie had tried her best to fight for her husband, but what did she get in return except betrayal?
In fact, the value of tradition should be based on how beneficial it is to the members of a given society. The Lottery sets an example that should not be followed by any society that wants to be prosperous. The fact that it is tradition does not mean that it is not debatable. Its importance should be appreciated, but its brutal effects should not be ignored; they should rather be approached and solved. People should always remember that they are the ones to make tradition, but it should be set up for the benefit of the whole