The Lottery

By: Shirley Jackson - compiled by Morgan Gersch

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The reluctance of people to reject outdated traditions, ideas, rules, laws, and practices.

This suggests that people tend to overlook the bad just because it's is tradition. Many believe that letting go of tradition is a mistake even with the price it pays.

Thesis Statement

The disturbing short story "The Lottery" author Shirley Jackson describes how traditions can make you reluctant to let go, even if it's for the better.

Text Evidence:

1. "'Some places have already quit lotteries' Mrs. Adams said. 'Nothing but trouble in that,' Old Man Warner said stoutly."

This shows how this tradition has become outdated and some don't want to give it up. They think it should be mandatory because it has been there for a least 77 years.

2. "A girl whispered, 'I hope it's not Nancy,' and the sound of the whisper reaches the edges of the crowd."

This quote shows how people are reluctant to commit this heinous act. They are reluctant to break tradition that has been going on for years.

3. "'It's not the way it used to be.' Old Man Warner said clearly. 'People ain't the way they used to be.'"

This text evidence shows how people are changing, people start doubting the use of the 'lottery'. They are starting to look past the point of tradition and start looking at the act they are committing ever year. The people are becoming outspoken about their feeling, not like back then when they will just comply.


Many people are reluctant to reject outdated traditions, ideas, rules, laws, and practices. People are changing and the outdated tradition of the lottery is becoming questionable to many around the village, yet they still do the heinous act. The villagers don't want to break the tradition that has been going on for decades. The reluctance of possibly becoming a disgrace to others around you for dropping tradition. Tradition shouldn't be mandatory, it should make you happy.