In the story "The Lottery," what attitude does the author reveal?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Jackson’s attitude toward human nature is not positive in “The Lottery.”  She seems to feel that there are two types of people who are responsible for the tragedy—the ones who perpetuate the tradition and the ones who do nothing to stop it.

In the village, the people choose a person by lottery to stone to death each year. They have no particular reason for doing so, and they do not particularly like to do so.  Yet tradition is so important to these people that they will do it even though it is absurd.

As the girl and her mother plead for her life, the people of the village throw stones at her.  There is no sympathy.  There is no hesitation.  The only people who seem to object are the victim and her mother.

"It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.

Jackson’s point is that people will act in whatever way they can get away with.  It is easier to follow tradition than to question it.  Human nature is to go with the flow of the others, not against it, even if that means actions most of us would agree are deplorable.

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