Mrs. Michele Leverett
5 December 2001
Research Paper: The Lottery
The word tradition can have a slue of different meanings. For people of diverse backgrounds, religions, and genders certain traditions are held dear to them. The Webster International dictionary had many definitions for tradition, but the one that applied best states that tradition is the “oral transmission of beliefs, opinions, information or customs” (Webster 2684). Shirley Jackson the author of many fictional stories precisely “The Lottery” uses the story to explain the sadistic tradition of people in a particular town that can symbolize how some traditions whether universal or personal are not always positive and how it is up to the individual to make a stand and change the outcome. The story shows how humans have a natural attraction for violence, but when the violence is placed on one, in particular, their personal views change from that of a certain nonchalant attitude to that of a more fearful attitude and the person is more pruned to blame others. “The Lottery” brings up many points and ideas, but the question that arises in my head the most is if tradition is such a meaningful component in the lives of many why do people only value their personal lives when the traditional consequences deal with them, in particular, than always having the same views throughout time?
Overall, Shirley Jackson is using “The Lottery” to prove one main point that violence is not to be glorified. There is no good that can come from violence in any situation and people always have the tendency to blame others for their own heartaches and hardships. That in my opinion is a tradition that we have in American society. When something does not go the way it was supposed to the “let me blame someone else for my problems” speech is heard. What type of person would stand for the sadistic ritual of having