The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay

1029 Words Dec 6th, 2016 5 Pages
The Lottery
Jay Yarmove, from the University of Cincinnati, wrote “The underpinning of Shirley Jackson’s famous post-World War II story “The Lottery” demonstrate that the work is far greater than the sum of its parts” (Yarmove). This one sentence speaks volumes about the theme and symbolism in the story. The story is written in a manner which allows the reader to empathize with the characters and shows the importance but also the mockery of family and traditions.
Traditions are often thought of to be a way for families or communities to demonstrate the customs or beliefs of previous generations. Traditions are commonly thought to be a positive reflection on the past, however in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson traditions are not positive in nature. Not only are traditions passed down from one generation to the next, but also the significance or purpose behind those traditions are typically passed down as well. However the origin of the lottery in the story was not passed down, only the actions of it. “The Lottery” shows a mixture of how bizarre and dangerous it can be to instinctively follow traditions without knowing the significance or the background of them. The theme of “The Lottery” shows the villagers are accepting to the lottery as a tradition, although they do not know much about the history of it. Traditions are prevalent, particularly in small towns, like the one in the story, as a way to link families to past generations. The lottery that is held…

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