The Importance Of Individuality In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

1352 Words 6 Pages
The short story written by Shirley Jackson is a haunting tale inspired by the events following the discovery of concentration camps during the Second World War, and showcases the importance of thinking for one’s self. The Lottery has a folksy tone, a group of small villagers gathering together for a community event, no different than a dance or holiday event. The Villagers draw out of a box until one is eventually found the winner, and stoned to-death. The event of deciding who dies is not important, it is the reason for the drawing that the reader should draw their attention to. “…Lottery in June be corn soon.” old man Warner’s claims as a justified reason for the sacrifice of human life. The event known as the lottery is conducted to preserve …show more content…
The village is a society that’s fully accepted the role of murder in order to protect the common interests of the citizens, but how would another society be so blind as to allow this to occur. Shirley’s piece, if nothing else, is a warning to the reader about the importance of their individuality and their ability to think for themselves. How is this thought process a legitimate concern? How could a nation, millions of people, stand by and let events like the lottery occur. Unluckily the events of the 1930’s and 1940’s showcase what can happen when people collectively stop thinking for themselves and instead follow as …show more content…
With three major characters out of the herd that’s introduced being relevant to the story. Mr. summers, old man warner, and Tessie Hutchinson. The villagers remain like sheep through the course of the lottery drawing, they assume their positions and roles, draw the sheets of paper and stone the winner. The reason for the lottery is not immediately clear, many classic examples of terminating people in small villages and towns were due to population control such as in Ancient Sparta were the weak were removed so the strong could thrive. However this theory is quickly dispatched when discussing the black box used to conduct the Lottery. Originally the black box was filled with Woodchips with each party’s name, however according to Mr. Summers the woodchips were fine when the town was tiny, but the population is now over three hundred it has become necessary to use something that more easily fits into a black box. If Population control had been the objective it was surly failing. The author later elaborates on the need for the lottery during a discussion between Mr. Adams and Mr. Warner where Mr. Adams discusses the possibility of the northern villages removing the lottery, Mr. Warner retorts that their a bunch of “crazy fools,” then explaining “Lottery in June, Corn be ready soon,” which leads the reader to the assumption that this

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