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The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Essay by   •  January 23, 2012  •  Essay  •  334 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,053 Views

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In the story, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, Mrs. Hutchinson is unfortunately chosen at random to be stoned to death. At the end, she screams, "It isn't fair, it isn't right." The lottery was based on the encounters of anti-Semitism after World War II. Villages similar to the setting in this story were suspicious of strangers and contemplated humanity's capacity of evil. Many thought this tale was nauseating and disturbing while others recognized its power and layers of meaning.

"The lottery" has been done for generations in this small town. The name of the head of each family is put into a black box and if your family is chosen, each member must draw a piece of paper to determine he victim. The controversy is whether this is a fair way of declaring who must be put through this cruel act. The method used is done completely random. It can't be performed any more fairly other then abolishing the drawing for good.

This decree is extremely disrespectful and not right. Someone should not be punished based on religion, race or any other characteristics just because it is frowned upon by others. It can not be expected for everyone to look, act and believe in exactly the same things. Although this lottery is conducted once a year and effects only one person at a time, compared to thousands like the Holocaust, it is not something that should be allowed in any form. It is still performed because it is thought of as a tradition and no one wanted to upset that even though it is not socially correct.

There is a strong difference between something being fair and right. Even if something isn't right, it can be done fairly. The drawing itself is murderous and wicked but is executed justly. Each family has an equal chance of getting picked and no one is favored. Even the conductor had to choose a slip from the box. However, it should be put to an end and not tolerated.

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