Lottery By Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson’s, The Lottery, has raised questions in the back of every
reader’s mind towards the destructive yet blind rituals of mankind. A
reflection of ourselves is what we see when looking through the pond of

Jackson’s mind. The Lottery clearly expressed Jackson’s feelings concerning
traditional rituals through her story, opened the eyes of its readers to
properly classify and question some of today’s traditions as cruel, and
allowed room to foretell the outcome of these unusual traditions. Jackson’s
feelings towards the misuse of tradition as an excuse to cause harm have
triggered her creativity for the creation of The Lottery. Jackson obviously saw
examples of this misuse of tradition and ingeniously placed it into an
exaggerated situation to let us see how barbaric our actions are. The
townspeople, in the story, all come together for the annual lottery; however, in
an interesting twist, those participating stone the winner to death. Everyone in
the story seems horribly uncivilized yet they can easily be compared to
today’s society. Perhaps Jackson was suggesting the coldness and lack of
compassion the human race can exhibit in situations regarding tradition and
values. The People who were stoned to death represented values and good being as
the townspeople, who represented society, cold-heartedly destroyed them (

Jackson 79 ). Immediately after reading The Lottery, one can compare the ritual,
in the story, to some of today’s barbaric traditions in a new point of view.

Hazing is a tradition that has been around forever. Some people do not see
anything wrong with giving a new person a hard time; however, this ritual has
caused numerous deaths and countless injuries all over the world. Hazing is a
ritual performed in high schools, gangs, colleges, and even your own best friend
can be in on it. Perhaps just as barbaric as the stoning, no good at all results
from hazing. The running of the bulls, in Italy, may also be compared to The

Lottery. Many deaths have been cause by the bulls running ramped through the
streets, yet this tradition is not about to be abolished due to the endless
support of participators along with media and tourists. What does it take to end
these cruel and misunderstood traditions and evolve into a more civilized
society where we can see what kind of harm they cause? In the story, the
townspeople were against abolishing the tradition of stoning and if our society
feels the same, there will never be a chance for our civilization to grow
together. What ever happened to the townspeople in this story? Could they have
finally given in and abolished the lottery for the next year? Perhaps they never
did abolish the lottery and eventually destroyed each other on a wide-scale
basis. Any way you chose to compare the situations, our future depends heavily
upon the allowance of evolution through our present standpoints and how we
select to alter it. Human nature will prevail no matter what our society wants
to alter; however, who is to say that human nature is a violent one without
compassion for fellow spirit? Shirley Jackson’s story outlined more than just
a cruel tradition; it outlined the essence of evolution upon a civilization and
the human race.