Why do you think so much time is spent describing the black box? What do you think the purpose of the lottery is in the village? Why do you think people continue to participate in it? Why do you think the lottery is such a long-standing tradition in the village?

QUESTION

  1. Why do you think so much time is spent describing the black box?

 

 

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  1. What do you think the purpose of the lottery is in the village? Why do you think people continue to participate in it?

 

 

 

  1. Why do you think the lottery is such a long-standing tradition in the village?

 

 

 

  1. Does this compare to anything you know in real life? Explain.

 

 

 

  1. How do you think the village people feel about the lottery? Explain.

 

 

 

  1. What would you have done in Tessie Hutchinson’s situation? Explain.

 

 

 

  1. How did you feel about the lottery at the end of the story? What was your reaction?

 

 

 

  1. Do you think this sort of lottery could take place in your own community? Why or why not? Are there any events that have occurred in your community that remind you of the events in “The Lottery?”

 

 

 

  1. How did your initial understanding of the term “lottery” compare to the lottery in the story? How did your initial understandings help or confuse your interpretation of the story?

 

 

  1. Do you think this story has a message for readers? Explain your view.
  2. ANSWER

  3. The Black Box, the Lottery, and the Unsettling Tradition: Unveiling the Message in “The Lottery”

    Introduction

    Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” captivates readers with its unsettling portrayal of a small village’s ritualistic lottery. The narrative dedicates significant attention to the black box, which symbolizes tradition, secrecy, and the village’s adherence to a grim practice. This essay aims to explore the purpose of the lottery, its longevity, the villagers’ sentiments, and the story’s message, while drawing parallels to real-life events and examining the initial understanding of the term “lottery.”

    The Significance of the Black Box

    Throughout the story, much time is spent describing the black box. The box represents a deeply ingrained tradition, as it has been used for generations. Its shabby appearance mirrors the decaying nature of the villagers’ mindset, stuck in a cycle of conformity and acceptance of a horrifying practice. The black box’s description not only builds suspense but also highlights the villagers’ attachment to tradition, regardless of its disturbing nature.

    The Purpose of the Lottery and Participation Motivation

    The lottery serves as a method of human sacrifice, where one villager is chosen randomly to be stoned to death. The purpose of the lottery is never explicitly revealed, leaving readers to contemplate its meaning. One interpretation suggests that the lottery is a scapegoat mechanism, where the sacrifice appeases a fictional higher power or maintains social order through fear (Interpreted in Shirley Jackson’s the Lottery | ipl.org, n.d.). People continue to participate due to a mix of social pressure, fear of being chosen themselves, and a belief in the necessity of the ritual to maintain their way of life.

    Longevity of the Lottery Tradition

    “The Lottery” portrays the lottery as an age-old tradition, deeply ingrained in the village’s culture. The story hints at the lottery’s historical origins but does not explicitly explain why it has persisted for so long. The longevity could be attributed to a combination of factors, such as fear of change, social conditioning, and the villagers’ reluctance to challenge or question established customs. Additionally, the lottery’s secretive nature, kept within the confines of the village, may have prevented external scrutiny and intervention.

    Real-Life Parallels and Villagers’ Feelings

    “The Lottery” serves as a chilling reminder of how seemingly ordinary people can be complicit in maintaining oppressive and harmful systems. Real-life events, such as historical traditions involving human sacrifices or societal acceptance of unjust practices, draw parallels to the villagers’ mindset. The story prompts readers to reflect on their own communities and the potential for blind adherence to tradition. The villagers in “The Lottery” may experience a range of emotions, including fear, resignation, and cognitive dissonance, as they grapple with the consequences of the lottery and their involvement in it.

    Tessie Hutchinson’s Situation

    In Tessie Hutchinson’s situation, the character’s actions are subjective, as they depend on personal values, circumstances, and the individual’s willingness to challenge societal norms. Some readers might choose to conform and participate reluctantly, while others may resist the lottery openly or attempt to escape the village altogether. Tessie’s fate reinforces the tragic consequences of conformity and highlights the arbitrary nature of the lottery.

    The Reaction to the Lottery

    The conclusion of “The Lottery” evokes shock, horror, and a sense of profound unease. Readers are confronted with the disturbing reality of a seemingly ordinary community’s capacity for collective violence. The story challenges complacency, forcing readers to question their own complicity in systems of injustice and their willingness to confront oppressive traditions (Schwarz, 2019).

    The Lottery in Our Own Communities

    While the specific events of “The Lottery” may not directly mirror reality, the story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of blindly following harmful practices. Communities worldwide have experienced instances where oppressive traditions, social norms, or unjust systems persist despite their detrimental effects. Recognizing these parallels is crucial for fostering critical thinking, challenging harmful practices, and promoting positive change.

    Initial Understanding of “Lottery” and Interpretation

    Prior to reading “The Lottery,” many individuals might associate the term with a game of chance, often involving prizes or rewards. This initial understanding may initially mislead readers, as they may anticipate a more positive outcome in the story (Robinson, 2019). However, as the narrative unfolds, it becomes clear that Jackson subverts these expectations, demonstrating the potential darkness that can lurk behind seemingly innocent concepts.

    The Message of “The Lottery”

    “The Lottery” presents readers with a powerful message about the dangers of blindly following tradition, the potential for collective violence, and the importance of questioning societal norms. It serves as a critique of conformity, highlighting the need for individuals to challenge oppressive practices and foster a sense of empathy and justice within their communities. By unveiling the destructive power of conformity, the story calls upon readers to critically examine their own beliefs, challenge harmful customs, and strive for a more compassionate society.

    Conclusion

    “The Lottery” captivates readers through its exploration of the black box, the purpose of the lottery, the longevity of the tradition, and the villagers’ emotions. By delving into these aspects, the story serves as a cautionary tale that prompts reflection on our own communities and the potential dangers of blindly adhering to harmful practices. Through its unsettling narrative, “The Lottery” delivers a thought-provoking message, urging readers to confront oppressive traditions, question societal norms, and strive for a more compassionate and just society.

    References

    Interpreted In Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery | ipl.org. (n.d.). https://www.ipl.org/essay/Interpreted-In-Shirley-Jacksons-The-Lottery-PCYFLEBUZV 

    Robinson, M. E. (2019). Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Holocaust Literature. Humanities, 8(1), 35. https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010035 

    Schwarz, R. (2019). Paternalism and Its Rationalisation in Machado de Assis’ Early Novels. In BRILL eBooks. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004417717_004

     

 

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