The Lottery

By: Shirley Jackson compiled by Zoe Manning

Theme

Blind adherence to tradition can cause otherwise ordinary and seemingly "good" individuals to commit heinous acts.


This means that many people will follow a tradition with no idea where it came from or why they do it, simply because they were told to and that's the only thing they know. They may not know that what they are doing is wrong. This implies that although it is not completely the fault of the tradition, and those who follow it, anyone may seem good at heart but without knowing what is ok and what is not by the rest of society and its times can make you do terrible things. In this case, murder for population control.

Thesis Statement

In this suspenseful short story"The Lottery" by author Shirley Jackson we learn an important lesson that blind adherence to tradition can cause otherwise ordinary and seemingly "good" individuals to commit heinous acts.

Text 1

" 'There's Don and Eva,' Mrs. Hutchinson yelled. 'Make them take their chance!" Eva and Don are relatives of Mrs. Hutchinson and she seems to be a good person but then she wants her family to pick too. Although it is a tradition she wants to save herself so she offers up anything she can. Ergo committing a heinous act.

Text 2

"Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use their stones." This shows that none of them even hesitated to start. They all just willingly went to the pile of stones and began with their tradition.

Text 3

"The children had stones already. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles" Davy is Mrs. Hutchinson's son and he is being encouraged to stone his mother to death because of a tradition. He sees nothing wrong with it, along with all the other towns people and children.
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Summary

Jackson did an excellent job showing all of us how dumb we can really be. She showed us that all that we know and what we've been taught is not always right. We will of course continue to do the wrong thing and sometimes commit heinous acts because of our blind adherence to tradition.
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