Analyzing the Lottery
The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson causes the reader to think about whether change is good or bad. The author shows the reader that traditions are not always meant to be followed, especially when the true meaning of the tradition is lost. As a result of reading the Lottery, the reader sees that traditions should be questioned and sometimes changed.
The tradition of the lottery falls to pieces and tears people apart right in front of the readers’ eyes. Jackson uses foreshadowing to demonstrate the effects the lottery is having on this small town. For example “The lottery was conducted – as were the square dances, the teen age club, the Halloween program – by Mr. Summers, who had time and energy to devote to civic activities. He was a round-faced, jovial man and he ran the coal business, and people were sorry for him, because he had no children and his wife was a scold” (Jackson 457). In this excerpt from the story it appears the Mr. Summers likes children considering he runs all these activities for children. He is a married man as well, his wife is just a shrew. At this point the reader may ponder as to why he does not have children and why the town people feel bad for him. This foreshadows the possibility that maybe he had children and his children won the lottery. Obviously winning the lottery is not good in this situation and you would think the towns’ people would question the lottery tradition if they feel bad for what the lottery tradition may have done to his children.
The villagers claim to have a desire to stick with their traditions though they seem to lack reason to do so. They also lack reason to alter their traditions because generations before them have always accepted the lottery tradition. This is shown in the except, “The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born”...