The Importance Of Tradition In Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

Improved Essays
“Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson 246). “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson describes about a tradition of an annual lottery draw, participated by the people of a village to insure a bountiful harvest. Usually in lotteries, the winners get something special that makes them happy. But in this story, the tradition of the lottery is that whoever is the winner is stoned to death to get a good crop on coming harvest time. We know that tradition is an important part of any culture. But this story is telling about a tradition where the villagers are murdering an innocent person, though the rationale behind this tradition has been lost over time. This tradition of human sacrifice is totally unlawful, which is based on superstition. This shouldn’t be participated by any villagers. …show more content…
In this story, the tradition of drawing lottery has been practiced for over seventy years by the villagers. Every June they held the lottery though this tradition is actually meaningless. Some young people tried to stop this tradition. In the story we see that Mr. and Mrs. Adams suggested to the Old Man Warner, who is the oldest man in the village that some other villages have already stopped this tradition. Then Warner said “…………. We’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery” (Jackson 246). Old Man Warner keeps strong belief in superstition. That’s why he wants the tradition of lottery to be continued. But this unlawful tradition should be stopped so that no one has to sacrifice their lives

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    The reason for doing the “lottery” is not stated however the reason is in the story. Old Man Warner says “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” This meaning that the lottery I held to help out with the crops. It was understood that they chose a winner every year so that the crops will grow better. It was a type of sacrifice. The winner of the lottery was stoned to death.…

    • 2073 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Throughout the story it is explained that the lottery has taken place annually for several decades. However, it is at the point now that the lottery has been going on for so long that no one actually remembers why it was started to begin with. The only hint as to the original purpose of the lottery is given to the reader by Old Man Warner. Coulthard states that, "[Old Man Warner] is the only villager who seems to believe in the supposed original purpose of the sacrifice: " Lottery in June corn be heavy soon," he intones" (1). This alludes to the lottery 's purpose is so that the crops will be abundant that year.…

    • 1971 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson present a story that describes the annual lottery that takes place in a small town in the summer. Since the town was founded the lottery has been a part of its tradition. The original purpose of the lottery was to ensure that the town has an exceptional harvest, but the reason has been lost in time. Now the town held its annual lottery just because it has been their “tradition”. The one who draws the black dotted paper from the black box become the winner, who will be later stoned to death.…

    • 926 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However, it’s worth a life where a little ticket would kill an innocent person because a little village need to maintain their population. “The Lottery” is an annual ritual that has been passing down from many generations. However, no one is question about it, because the purpose of it was to eliminate a person every time the population increases. No one is questioning about it and that it seems absurd that everyone in the village wants to kill an innocent victim so there is no one to blame. A small village living on a sacred ritual due to an old wooden box seems irrational.…

    • 861 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The two men create a “balance by juxtaposing… Life brings death, and death recycles life.” The violence in the story is overlooked by all in the community except Old Man Warner. When the people no longer remember the meaning of the tradition, they do remember the violent act of throwing stones. Civilized traditions are disregarded because of the tendency of humans to revert to violence. The people of the mob also provide evidence that people ignore their individual feelings in order to fit in with the…

    • 1046 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    They hold the lottery on the same day every year, follow the same steps year after year from begging to end, as well as use the same materials each year. It is mentioned in the book that instead of pieces of paper they used to use wood chips, but they became too old and brittle to use. Once it is revealed in the end why they conduct the lottery each year, it makes the reader wonder what the purpose of the tradition is. Why is it that they can’t just stop the lottery? I wish that Jackson would have reiterated on this some more, but at the end of the lottery she leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions.…

    • 1283 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Jackson continues by saying, “Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery," Old Man Warner said as he went through the crowd. "Seventy-seventh time” (page 5). This shows the reader that this tradition of the lottery has been going on for at least seventy-seven years. Jackson also portrays Mr. Warner as a voice of reason, or an informer for the townspeople. Jackson does this by saying “… 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon. '…

    • 1190 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The government-enforced killing an individual just because he or she committed a crime is not moral, nor is it effective. The government did not give life to the person convicted, and therefore have no right to take it away from them. The whole purpose of punishment is to ensure that the unfavorable crime or action won’t happen again. However, once an individual is put to death, there is no way for that individual to recognize and make up for their wrongs. It does not discourage the individual, or other individuals from committing further crimes, and it sets a bad example to the general public promoting that being cruel and unusual is an acceptable process.…

    • 1216 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, villagers of a small town gather together on a beautiful day for the annual town lottery. This lottery requires that all the members of the community draw sheets of paper to determine a “winner”. The person who pulls the card with the black dot is the “winner”. The winner of this lottery ends up being stoned to death by the entire community due to an ancient ritual that says their crops will grow better when someone gets stoned (human sacrifice). The community members do not even remember the purpose of this tradition or where it came from but yet they still participate in it every year.…

    • 810 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    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.…

    • 1352 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays