A story based on family traditions and values


In Shirley Jackson’s story  “ The Lottery” the story illustrates the purpose of family traditions, how it should be important in a social community. In  “The Lottery” the elder that takes part in the village tries to maintain order and stability in order to keep traditions and values alive, even though community members try to avoid or feel disconnected from this annual ritual that has been going on for a long time. I described the elder that is known as Mr. Summers this way because he has such a great personality where he would have no wife or children because he was so passionate in what he was doing for the community and never had time for anything else. “ The lotteries were conducted as were the square dances by Mr. Summers who had time and energy to devote to civic activities.” Preserving rituals often leads to peace within the community preventing violence or from other who are being tyrant. The society in  “The Lottery” portrays a violent community. Through my analysis of The Lottery, I am trying to prove that a society should be kept harmoniously based on important traditions and values.  


Based on my own interpretation, I believe that this story by Shirley Jackson deals with plot, where many people would gather in this event, where the person who is in charge of all the  events picks  names of  people and  when it was  Tessie  Hutchinson’s family’s turn,  she would pick a  paper with  a  black  mark on it, which  would result  in  Tessie and her family in  becoming  angry  and at  the end she would  end up saying that it is just not fair and she would get stones thrown at her.  The plot that I enjoyed reading the most was the part when Mr. Summers who was in charge of the events that take place would have names of the people and see whether they were actually there, where  Tessie  Jackson would pick out a paper that would happen to have a black mark on it.

Likewise in The  Lottery  by  Shirley  Jackson, it deals with   a   society, on how they have  trouble  accepting  change or  it  takes people a while to  get used to new things. Even though Mr. Summers put his entire life into taking the responsibility  of  taking  care of the events and rituals of the entire village, his job was to run the coal business and he loved devoting and giving his time to civic activities at the  village, and a lot of the people felt sorry for him because he had no wife and children, and he has such a good personality because he is always giving his time to his duties and  the  people.  One of the character who is against the rituals that take place in the village is  Old  Man  Warner, because he thinks a lot of the people have to stop taking part because it will make them turn into a savage and cruel state, and how he doesn’t like change, and how he wants it to go back the way it used to be, and how he believes every year the people taking in the tradition are always changing it for  the  better.  If  I  were to  describe more in depth  of  Mr.  Summers  character, I  would say  that he would fall in the three archetypes called  The  Sage, The  Ruler , and  The  Innocent.  I  picked the first archetype because  I  feel  that  Mr.  Summers has the gifts of  being  optimistic, having  hope, and  simplicity.  In the category called  “The  Ruler, I feel that the thing that stands out and helps describe Mr. Summers where it says the category of  gift/ virtue has to  do  with   responsibility, control, sovereignty, savvy system.  And I picked “ The Innocent” because the gift and virtue is similar to the character of Mr. Summers, how he shows optimism, trust, hope, faith, and simplicity.  I picked these specific archetypes to show that Mr. Summer is someone who wants to keep order and stability within the community, and how he always devotes his time to the community with no regard to having his own family.

  Although traditions in  a  social  community  would  lead  as  a  result  of  chaos and violence, I  believe that in general  of  a  social  community should try to live in peace where people and certain families follow traditions that have been a certain part of their culture from generation to generations and it will lastly bring a very important impact for future age groups and peer groups.  Reading the lottery by Shirley Jackson have made get a  better understanding  of the story as a whole and it also made me think of  different people from different cultures like to follow traditions and values shared within a  family and it also made me look  at the other  perspective of people going  against  traditions.

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