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In Shirley Jackson's story, "The Lottery," by the fact that the olriginal paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, but the people have replaced it and put it into use "even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born," there is a clear indication that the villagers are a flock of sheep who blindly and unthinkingly follow tradition simply because it is tradition. For, if the community had had any of a logical and reasonable nature, once the box and other paraphernalia connected to the lottery was lost, these people should have rethought this heinous tradition and done away with it as other communities have.
Therefore, the mention of the loss and replacement of the original paraphernalia is key to the understanding of the mentality of the villagers who continue a ritual of such a nature. This mentality underscores Jackson's themes of Custom and Tradition and Violence and Cruelty.
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