The Lottery Essay Research Paper MerriamWebster

The Lottery Essay Research Paper MerriamWebster

The Lotto Essay, Term Paper

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary specifies tradition as, an acquired,

developed, or popular pattern of thought, action, or habits (as a

spiritual practice or a social custom) and the bying far of

info, beliefs, and customizeds by word of mouth or by example from

one generation to another without written guideline. If we are to go

by the latter meaning, we can understand how customs are quickly

lost. Have you ever played the game telephone? You whisper something in

someone’s ear and they whisper it in another individual ^ s ear till it

lastly returns back to you and typically what is returned isn’t even

near what you originally whispered into the very first individual’s ear In

Shirley Jackson’s short story,”The Lottery game”, the primary style is how

traditions that lose their significance due to human forgetfulness can cause

terrible effects to occur. Jackson uses a lot of importance to reveal

this. The story is embeded in a town, ^ on the early morning of June

27th ^( 272 ). It opens with false innocence, utilizing the children developing

a rock stack, fooling the reader into a disturbingly unaware state.

The reader practically anticipates the Lottery game to be something fantastic given that

the “normal” lottery has the winner getting a prize of a big quantity

of money or possesion. Even the story alludes to the innocence,

describing how the town likewise holds ^ square dances, teenage club and

the Halloween program ^( 273) in the very same spot that the lotto is held.

In “the Lottery game” we find that the town-folk usage a lottery game, to choose

a “winner” to stone to death. The winner is selected using a black box

that has been around for ages, and has even been ^ reconstructed with parts

supposedly from the initial black box ^.( 273) Within the box are slips

of paper, enough for the entire town. On one slip of paper is a black

dot for the one lucky winner. Black has actually constantly been a symbol for death,

and the color of package and dot are no exception to this rule. Among

Merriam-Webster ^ s dictionary definitions of black is ^ marked by the

occurance of disaster ^. The black dot on the slip of paper

identifies the lucky winner of the lottery-the individual who will get

stoned to death. No-one in the area truly knows precisely why it is a

tradition although they have some unclear ideas. Old Guy Warner alludes

that it was as soon as stated “lotto in June, corn be heavy quickly”.( 276)

Ironically, even the earliest member of this village doesn ^ t even

remember the real reason behind the lottery game. Although ^ The villagers

had actually forgotten the routine and lost the original box, they still

kept in mind to use stones” (278 ). Do individuals just decide on which

part of a tradition they want to keep?

On the eighth paragraph of ^ The Lottery game ^, the character Tessie

Huchinson, comes hurrying to the square because she ^ clean forgot what

day it was ^( 274 ). This demonstrates how quickly a person can forget things. It

likewise mentions the murderous ritual when Tessie exclaims ^ wouldn ^ t

have me leave m ^ dishes in the sink ^. Why would anyone who is

taking part in a lottery have to fret about filthy dishes, unless the

reward was something terrible. Tessie appears to not take the ritual

seriously, potentially because of the quantity of people in the town or

the reality she has been desensitized to the violent ritual. It can be

assumed that Tessie doesn ^ t understand quite about the history of the

custom since the guy who is ^ the official of the lottery game ^,( 274)

Mr. Summers, doesn ^ t remember the history either.

Mr. Summers, the authorities of the lottery game, doesn ^ t understand that there is a

^ perfunctory tuneless chant ^( 274) that he was supposed to sing throughout

the lottery or a ^ routine salute ^( 274) that he was supposed to use when

attending to everyone who came near the black box. The unnamed

villagers who remember some little bits of history about those forgotten

elements of the ritual, aren ^ t even certain about the precision of

their beliefs. Some believe that the ^ authorities of the lottery game ought to

stand ^ a particular way when he sang the chant, other believe that he

should ^ walk amongst the people ^( 274 ). No-one precisely remembers the hows

and whys of the tradition, many have ended up being totally desensitized to

the homicidal routines. In paragraph 2, the children are so

desensitized that they are really enjoying themselves while they are

collecting rocks as a vicious reward for the lottery ^ s winner. Although

they are very young they remember some elements of the ritual. Bobby

Martin stuffs ^ his pockets full of stones ^ (272 )as if it were cash and

not a murder weapon. 3 of the villagers kids ^ eventually made

a fantastic stack of stones in one corner of the square and safeguarded it

versus rids of the other kids. ^( 272) The kids understand that they are

expected to utilize smooth round stones to kill the winner however they do not

understand why nor do they seem to care. Due to the fact that the grownups have actually forgotten

the traditions history, the children know even less and they are

desensitized to murder, believing it ^ s simply another fun holiday like


In contemporary times we can see a reflection of ^ The Lottery ^ in Christmas.

Christmas was originally planned to celebrate the wonder of Christ ^ s

birth, however gradually Christmas has ended up being more commercialized and

associated with pagan beliefs. Given that lots of moms and dads have actually forgotten the

true significance of Christmas, lots of kids misinterpret Christmas as a

^ gimmie ^ vacation rather then a holiday celebrating the virgin birth

of Jesus. We can not completely blame this on human forgetfulness without

resolving the problem of hypocrisy. Individuals hear what they wish to hear

and pick what rituals to keep for customs.

The townspeople could have changed the tradition and even examined

the history of the tradition. They, the townspeople, had an active function

in the murder of Tessie and can not blame their actions on lapse of memory

however rather on hypocrisy. When Mrs. Delacroix was choosing a ^ stone so

big she needed to select it up with both hands ^,( 278) she could have

stopped and questioned the ethics of ^ the Lottery.

Forgotten traditions can be extremely harmful as Shirley Jackson

explains in her narrative. It, the lottery, could have occurred

in any village across America. Any among us can forgot something

crucial about a tradition that might eventually cause dreadful

consequences. The easy game of telephone proves that we are simply

like those townspeople, forgetting the original words but continuing

on as if the words we understand are the initial.

Functions Cited

Jackson, Shirley ^? The Lotto ^? The Bedford Guide for College Writers Bedord-St. Martins 1999

Jackson, Shirley ^? The Lottery game ^? Http://


^? The Lotto ^? Dir. Daniel Sackheim 1996 (Made for T.V.)

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