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Commentary on The Lottery Essay


In The Lottery Shirley Jackson describe June 27, the day the lottery is held as a normal everyday life for the towns people in a small town called Anytown, USA, in the story Jackson addresses the day of the lottery as a normal quite and pleasant day. In my opinion the lottery is a cruel bizarre tradition that note of the towns people thought to question the ritual on why an individual get stoned to death their very own towns people. Jackson uses simple objects to symbolize cruelty and unfairness to human life.

In the beginning Jackson describes how the children were getting out of school the girls talking among themselves and the boys gathering stones. The stones symbolize horrific murder weapons. As the boys are collecting the stones they are thinking that stoning an individual is entertaining, but little do they know that it is brutal. Stoning is a significant way of dying. These boys are being taught to kill at school age by society. This then creates a dark side of human nature.

Some of the characters are very evil and cruel to Tessi Hutchison. In the story Mr. Graves help little Davvy select from the box. If a child draw from the black box and get the one with the dot he/she will be the one to get stone. Also brother and sister, Nancy and Bill Hutchison are laughing as people draw from the box. Little do they know that it will be out of there own parents to determine who will get the black dot and it turns out to be there mother Tessi. As Tessi drew from the box Mr. Hutchison is the one to show everybody that it is Tessi who drew the black dot and he does not stand up for his wife at all. He went along with the ritual like every one else did. Even if it was a child no one will show any type of sympathy because it is a traditional ritual that every one must had to participate in.

Consequently the color black is mentioned repeatedly through out The Lottery. Evil or death represents the box based solely on the color. The black box is described as an ancient box that has been around for a long period of time, which holds the tickets for the lottery. The towns people show loyalty to the black box. The black box has no reason of being use but only once a year for two hours every June. It had spent on year in Mr. Graves barn and another year underfoot in the post office and sometimes it was set on a shelf in the Martin grocery and left there (6).

Rituals are something of a formal act by religious. The lottery is a form a sacrifice to the towns people. But the victim Mrs. Hutchison was objective toward the ritual stating that it was unfair. The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago.(5) Although not every one know the true meaning of the lottery or even know how long its been around not even Old man Warner. Compared to todays society rituals is a form of religious either way death does not become a part of any type of rituals. In the story the towns people does not excuse the children from the lottery and there is no age limit for who can not pick for the black box. The children had stones already. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson few pebbles. The author portrayed Mrs. Hutchison as a scapegoat but through ancient history scapegoats did not die. The townspeople turn against the victim Tessie Hutchison, who did not commit no such crime but drew from the box and got the black dot, although she was the one shouting it wasnt fair

In todays world traditions never die or never stop continuing. It is something that goes on forever and carries on through generations. In Jacksons, one character mentions at one time, some people remembered, there had been a recital of some sort, performed by the official of the lottery (#). Could the story also point out the towns people will no longer do the lottery? How can one stop or break traditions if so many support it and look forward to it.

As A result I think the story was very much unexpected. With the title as The Lottery it would throw most readers off thinking that they will be reading about winnings or mega millions. The story would have readers asking a lot of questions, especially if Jackson wrote the story with in two hours. But one question that I have is, will the lottery ever die? Will that tradition get broken or die down for the sake of the towns

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