Shirley Jacksons, The Lottery, has raised questions in the back of every readers mind towards the destructive yet blind rituals of mankind. A reflection of ourselves is what we see when looking through the pond of Jacksons mind. The Lottery clearly expressed Jacksons feelings concerning traditional rituals through her story, opened the eyes of its readers to properly classify and question some of todays traditions as cruel, and allowed room to foretell the outcome of these unusual traditions.
Jacksons 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 todays 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 todays 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 Jacksons story outlined more than just a cruel tradition; it outlined the essence of evolution upon a civilization and the human race.
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