The Lottery Essay

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Sammy Romeo
Mrs. Paolicelli
English 1 CAS
October 15th, 2014
“The Lottery”
Short Story Essay

Shirley Jackson’s purpose for writing “The Lottery” was to comment on society, show how traditions can be forgotten and go wrong over time, and that you don’t know or understand how bad something is until you are in that position. On the day of the lottery the town gathers for the annual tradition of picking someone to get stoned to death. In the story we learn about the families, and how they aren’t bothered by this deed. From this we can take away that we should question traditions sometimes and not just blindly follow them. The people in the community forgot what the lottery really was and followed it without question, treating it the same as other celebrations. Throughout the story no one questions it, and they doint realize what they are actually doing. Jackson writes, “The lottery was conducted – as were square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program – by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities.” (1) In this description you can see the villagers acting as if the lottery was just another everyday activity, not a twisted ritual. The reason they acted this way was because they forgot the true meaning and purpose of the lottery, and don’t see it for what it is. Jackson writes, “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.” (2) This shows that the people didn’t know and or care what the original use of the lottery was, and didn’t feel the need to pass it along from offspring to offspring. Since it was a tradition, they didn’t question it and just went along blindly. This is true for society too, we think things are right if someone says they are, and if eberyone else is doing it. You won’t usually think something is wrong until you are in that position, or have walked in those shoes. This is portrayed through most of…