The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

824 Words Dec 5th, 2015 4 Pages
Though tattered and splintered, old and worn, the black box remains. Year after year the same old black box, with some possible minimal repairs if needed, is used in the lottery. No one wants to upset tradition by altering it in any major way or make a new one. It is not exactly the original black box but it contains pieces that were part of the original, small pieces that survived its storage and use throughout time. The villagers have no absolute knowledge of how the lottery began, yet they follow it nonetheless, caught up in a web of violence. Every year the lottery takes place on a summer’s day in June, and no one knows exactly why but they cannot defy that tradition, perhaps out of fear, or maybe because that’s the only thing they have ever known.

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a short story that questions why people do things and carry on traditions without fully understanding the reason behind them. They follow the old ways they were taught by generations before them even if makes no sense to them. In the very beginning of the story we are introduced to a group of boys who are collecting rocks and placing them into a large pile. Their parents, the villagers all seem to be nervous and anxiously awaiting the lottery. They talk amongst themselves, making small talk, but the underlying mood in the town is apprehensive. The black box is brought to the village square by the postmaster, Mr. Graves, and is placed on a three-legged stool. It…

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