The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson Essay

1865 Words Dec 8th, 2016 8 Pages
In “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, the town no longer enforces laws; in fact the village has no apparent governmental structure to restrain its murderous tradition. It seems as though the government relies heavily on tradition as a tool to achieve order instead of law and elected local government. The village appears to be normal besides its lack of a municipality. The country’s government has also become suspiciously absent from the affairs of its town. With the apparent bloodlust of the villagers, as they all participate in democide, it is a miracle there have been no murders in recent years. The village has achieved a trusted utopian society, unknowingly stopping crime, despite having a lack of government through the lottery.
Shirley Jackson intentionally left out the village’s governing body, even though she incorporated information throughout the story about its effect on the villagers. This shifts the responsibility of the lottery from the local government directly to the collective wants of the community. In a sense, the local government is a direct democracy where the responsibility is shared evenly between each villager, although admittedly this could be limited to every man over the age of eighteen as with the lottery. Regardless, with that in mind, much like in our culture where we have decided that capital punishment is necessary to civilization, we see the village has decided unanimously that the lottery is similarly important to them. Even with the…

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