Human Nature And Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

790 Words 4 Pages
Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery” presents a view of human nature and tradition. In my opinion human nature is good, it starts of positive, then becomes corrupted when we start to civilize and acquaint ourselves, which eventually becomes a tradition. Jackson I think makes many points throughout her story that deal with the basics of human nature. As I see it she make four major points in accordance to her views on society and its human nature. The first is the aimless following of tradition, and the idea that if they participate, they will be cleansed and their chance of getting chosen next year is unlikely. The second is how seemingly innocent someone can be, but when basing their actions on tradition, can lead them to do inhumane things. Third …show more content…
The ritual of stoning one person is what they have been doing since the beginning. It is all they know, a tradition. I believe that when the one person is selected, Tessie Hutchinson, the village people use her as a way to cleanse themselves of wrongdoing and sin. According to Lenemaja Friedman in her critical review of the lottery, “…Jackson 's choice of Tessie Hutchinson as the lottery 's victim/scapegoat reveals the lottery to be an ideological mechanism which serves to defuse the average villager 's deep, inarticulate dissatisfaction with the social order in which he lives by channeling it into anger directed at the victims of that social order (Friedman 1985).” I believe she felt this presented the way we act as humans. And I do agree with Jackson view, us humans do need an outlet. Now I’m not saying today we should stone people, but it reflects in other ways. For example, people blame their employers and the government for not making a higher wage, even if they didn’t go to college. They blame their wrong doing on influence of how they were raised by their friends/family. We just need someone to …show more content…
Family bonds are a significant part of the lottery, and the emphasis on family only heightens the killing’s barbarity, because family members so easily turn against one another. It is our human nature to defend ourselves first, every man for it’s self. Also along with family, gender comes into play. The men in the households are the top dogs, and they make the rules. In the words said by Friedman,” …but because they work in the home and not within the larger economy in which work is regulated by money, they are treated by men and treat themselves as inferiors. When Tessie Hutchinson appears late to the lottery, other men address her husband Bill, "here comes your Missus, Hutchinson". None of the men, that is to say, thinks of addressing Tessie first, since she "belongs" to Bill (Friedman

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