The short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is very well known because of the tradition of the village. Tradition is a big point issued to the people throughout their lives. The title “The Lottery” sounds as if something good is being given away. As you know after reading the story, that isn’t the case at all. The tradition the village faces is very controversial. The tradition of the lottery is taken in many different ways, because it is unexamined. In particular, the conflict of the story can be seen in the contrast between Old Man Warner and Tessie Hutchinson. The lottery is an annual event which takes place in the village.
It takes place on the day of June 27. Everybody gathers on this date in the middle of the square for the drawing of the lottery. To the townspeople this event is like any other event happening in their town, such as a dance, club, or even a holiday program. Mr. Summers, the head of the lottery, has to gather the information of all the households the night before to make the list for the following day. He has to mix the papers up with the one with the black dot on it in the box. The head of the household picks the paper from the box to seen if their family drew the dot or not.
This event takes just a few hours to accomplish. The losing family then has to draw to decide who will lose in the household. The person who draws the dot will then get stoned to death. This is a ritual for the townspeople each year. There are people who agree and disagree with this annual event. The older people in the town are accustomed to this event; therefore, it is easier for them to understand it. The others who disagree are the younger people in the town. The controversy of this annual event will always be their. There are people that will and will not get accustomed to someone dying each year in their town.
I can see how people are upset with this tradition. It is not a tradition I would want my town to be known for. It is hard for people to grow into an event with such a dramatic ending. The people of the town who are accustomed to it are the older folks. For example, the Hutchinson family cannot adapt to the drawing of the lottery. Everyone in the town has drawn their piece of paper and opens it. The Hutchinson family opens the paper Bill is holding, and it is the dot. Mrs. Hutchinson then starts complaining that her husband has not been given enough time to draw.
It is foolish of her to be thinking this way. Everyone has gotten the same amount of time to draw. She cannot get over the fact of tradition at this moment. Tessie Hutchinson shouts, “You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair. ” At this point, Tessie is being very unfair to the other townspeople. She has not taken the ritual of the town well; she doesn’t comprehend the seriousness the town has for his tradition. Tessie Hutchinson never does face the fact that she has pulled the piece of paper with the dot on it.
She faces reality when everyone from the town has picked up the stones. The towns people now have to stone Tessie to death. Her own family does this cruel act of stoning to her also. The controversy goes even farther with Old Man Warner. Old Man Warner is the oldest man in town. He has been there for too many years of the lottery. He would not know what to do without it. He cannot get over the fact that people would disagree with the tradition of the town. Some towns around them have quit the lottery, but Old Man Warner says, “Nothing but trouble in that.
He is so accustomed to lotteries that he could not live without them. He is amused of seeing someone die each year from his town. All that Old Man Warner keeps saying is, “Pack of crazy fools. ” He says, “ Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. ” Apparently, he gets his enjoyment each year from this tragic event. Old Man Warner is just a man of tradition. Old Man Warner may not understand the loss of this tradition, because he has grown so accustomed to it. The controversy between Tessie Hutchinson and Old Man Warner is very simple.
The biggest problem between the two is the age difference and the time each of them have lived through. Old Man Warner is an old man who has lived through numerous lotteries and is used to all the stress that goes along with them. Tessie is not a young woman but is a parent and has not gone through as many as Old Man Warner; therefore, she is not used to all the pressure and stress of the lottery. It is just another day to Old Man Warner, but it is a dramatic experience for Tessie. If they were both of the same generation there would be no controversy.
This would not have made the short story as exciting as it is. The short story was filled with tradition and controversy. The controversy shown in this story between the townspeople is shown throughout the story. The tradition of the town is very controversial. The conflict of the story is shown between Old Man Warner and Tessie Hutchinson. The controversy between the two is seen form the different generations they have lived through. The traditions of the town are seen here when you examine them thoroughly. The conflict is seen here in the contrast between Old Man Warner and Tessie.