A Reflection On The Lottery: The Issue Of Old Traditions

Traditions are the leading source of every culture and developments in societies. It is what keeps the beliefs of traditions and customs alive. So they can be passed on from one generation to another. However, not all traditions begin with good intentions. Some traditions become so repetitive that people don’t know a single thing outside of them. Societies become so comfortable with traditions and rituals that they will take parts in events without asking a question about the ethics or moralities of the situation. Traditions and rituals are a large part of almost everyone in this world, but most of the people can’t hold on to traditions and rituals forever. In “The Lottery,” it is quite the opposite. They give significance to pointless rituals and tradition just because it has been going on for many generations, and nobody in the town wishes to mess with the customs because they believe something bad might happen to the town. “The Lottery” supports the idea of old traditions and ceremonies that many people in today’s generation do not approve with.

My parents also grew up with traditions and rituals that were passed on for a long time. They regularly talk about their past traditions and rituals that they had to respect and obey. My family has strong beliefs in traditions and values that have been going on for ages, and they hope that the next generation would follow it too. For example, my parents had an arranged wedding where they only received one opportunity to meet and chat with one another before their marriage. Young girls were not permitted to talk to young men before marriage as the family assumed that it would insult them in front of the societies. Falling in love with somebody in different ethnicity can also be a big issue that can be lead to being abandoned by your own family members and relatives. The above examples authenticate that old tradition and the ceremonies that have been passed on for many generations. However, once my parents got married they raised their voice against the injustice, and they decided that they are not going to follow the old traditions anymore.

“The Lottery” respects old tradition and customs which are being passed on for a long time. They have strong confidence in their traditions and customs despite not knowing what the primary importance of the ceremony. “The Lottery” has a stone death ceremony that has continued for a long time. The black box plays an essential role in the tradition despite the truth that the black box is severely broken. The damaged black box demonstrates the town’s history and it also passes on the cultures and formalities of the town. Mr. Summers, the town's lottery official, “spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much as tradition as was represented by the black box”. This illustrates that everyone in the village is blind to the idea of even messing with their sacred box. Everyone has grown old with the traditions, and they still find it discomforting in the idea of change. “Every year, after the lottery, Mr. Summers began talking about a new box, but every year the subject was allowed to fade off without anything's being done”. Shirley Jackson uses the word choice 'allowed,' to represent the people's response by ignorance. Every year the recommendation is made, and every year the proposal is allowed to be silent for the sake of their old tradition and customs.

There is a feeling among individuals that should the box be changed or should the lottery and its purpose. “Some places have already quit lotteries,” Mrs. Adams said. “Nothing but trouble in that' Old Man Warner said stoutly. “pack of young fools”. This outlines the beliefs of many individuals. Old Man Warner is the most important character; Old Man Warner is an elderly person who is very traditional about the protection of this tradition. He holds it remarkably close to his heart, despite the evidence that this tradition is slowly and steadily falling apart in towns around him.

Shirley Jackson is trying to aware the reader about meaningless traditions that are followed in real life. She wanted to attract attention to the detail that not all of the traditions are good. Following tradition without knowing the ethics or moralities of the situation can be dangerous. In “The Lottery” no one had a clear idea of the origin of their tradition. Individuals in “The Lottery” blindly follow the tradition just because it has been going on for a long time. It looks like the tradition in “The Lottery” is used as an alibi to get away with a random murder every year.

Shirley Jackson uses a lottery to pick a random person for an important reason. The villager’s decision to kill a random person is very much related with some real-world situations. In the story when everyone finds out that Tessie chose the marked paper, everyone turns against her. Tessie becomes invisible to all her friends and family members. Tessie’s death in the story is an excellent example of how societies can persecute an innocent person. In today’s societies, people get persecuted for many reasons like their sex, race, and religion. They get persecuted just because they are from the wrong part of the country. Similarly, in “The Lottery” the villagers kill Tessie just because they think that is what they are supposed to do. several individuals in real life do the same thing without questioning themselves.

In conclusion, traditions have continued for a long time. It varies on the person to change their mindset and attitude toward traditions for their promising future. My family’s rituals hold strong importance in my parent’s life, however, they decided that they have to change traditions and customs for the betterment of their children’s future. Shirley Jackson tries to aware the readers about all the injustice that happens in today’s society because of different sex, race, and religion. 

16 December 2021
Your Email

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and  Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

close thanks-icon

Your essay sample has been sent.

Order now
Still can’t find what you need?

Order custom paper and save your time
for priority classes!

Order paper now