Student Essay on "The Lottery": Making a Change

"The Lottery": Making a Change by Shirley Jackson

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Making a Change

An essential part of being a successful person or creating a prosperous civilization is the ability to make changes based on the state of affairs and being able to adapt to your surroundings. In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, the rite that the villagers hold annually seemed so appalling that the readers ask themselves - why? Why do the villagers persist with the misdeed even though they're already starting to become dubious of their own actions? The reason lies in a very simple fault that haunts us even today - It is about "man's ineradicable primitive aggressivity" (Kosenko). The world will never stop revolving, and in order to keep up with its ever-changing environment, we must be flexible and have the compliance to obliterate archaic practices and introduce new ones. The Lottery provided us with an excellent example of how this problem can hurt us. Throughout the story, the author never mentioned or even hinted that the village had ever suffered from crop failure, yet the villagers persevered, continuing to carry on with a tradition that has already become obsolete in some villages and in the process of being disbanded in others. There may have been other factors, like the fact that Jackson never was accepted by her own small town. This may have lead to her attempt to deprecate the image of small towns, but the truth remains that the people of the village were unwilling to take risks and face their ignorance. Old Man Warner's feelings towards the north village giving up the lottery were contemptuous and disdainful. " Pack of crazy fools, listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves... Used to be a saying about `lottery in June, corn be heavy soon...'" How ironic that Old Man Warner is mocking others for living in caves when he's the one dwelling in the past! Old Man Warner's unawareness of the modern society is another evidence of the villagers' inability to let go of the past. Because in order for one to make a change, one must possess the courage to accept failure and the determination of not giving up.