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Word Count: 1,112
The theme of violence and tradition is persuasive in the short story The Lotterywritten by Shirley Jackson This theme is not a generalized theme of violence but atheme of ritualistic violence This violence is shown in the traditional town-wide lotterydrawing that takes place on each June 27th However this lottery is not to draw awinner of some great prize but seeks to draw a loser whose life will be taken Thisritual has been practiced for so long that the townspeople are no longer aware of itsorigin or its true intent No one cares why it is done only that the tradition be upheld As Old Man Warner succinctly puts it Theres always been a lottery He cannotoffer a good reason for it nor does he care if there is a bad one Not even the loss of alife can persuade these people to leave a senseless tradition behindThe lottery itself is symbolic of the paradox of the human psyche betweencompassion and the thirst for violence and cruelty An example of this is when thechildren are enjoying a break from school playing the way children do and suddenlythey are being joined by rational adults in stoning a mother to death It appears thattradition has blinded these people in an irrational way making them unable to think of areason why this should not be happening The black box is the central idea or theme in the story In the beginning itsymbolizes some type of mystery but as we read the ending we realize that it issynonymous with doom Someones fate lies in an inanimate object the black box Theblack box is symbolic of our loathing of change It is old and splintered showing that we cling to what is familiar No one in the small town questions the origin of the box butaccept it as an intricate part of their livesWhen forced with the possibility of death human nature in all its complexitycomes down to one
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