What are three quotations that pertain to the three main points I have made for an essay on "The Lottery"? [My thesis explores the potentials of human nature and my three main points are No...

What are three quotations that pertain to the three main points I have made for an essay on "The Lottery"?

[My thesis explores the potentials of human nature and my three main points are

  • No remorse (cruelty)
  • The fact that the story is called the lottery,
  • It is not right that another person's life should be in someone else's control.]

 

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Perhaps, you may wish to revise your three main points so that they are parallel in construction. For, these points are the "blueprint" of your thesis and, as such, they need to be written in a parallel structure which will allow readers to better understand.

Here are suggested points based upon what you have written; they are also put into the order that is more in keeping with the chronology of the story:

  1. The blind adherence to tradition
  2. The arbitrary nature of man
  3. The natural proclivity in humans for violence.

1. Blind adherence to tradition

While Jackson deceives her readers as she describes the annual gathering for the lottery, it is clear that this lottery is an old tradition. Even though it is a cruel one, the townspeople seem to be subjected to what Emerson called "the opium of custom." When, for instance, Mr. Summers suggests that the community get a new box to replace the shabby black box, nothing is ever done about it:

 No one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.

No one better exemplifies this phrase of Emerson better than Old Man Warner who retorts after hearing that some villages have done away with the lottery, 

"Pack of crazy fools....Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more....Used to be a saying, 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.'...There's always been a lottery...."

2. The arbitrary nature of man

As the people gather for the beginning of the lottery, there are shifts in opinions as well as exhibitions of hypocrisy. For example, before Mr. Summers arrives with the black box, the men stand around and share quiet jokes; later, they engage in stoning a victim. Parents, who purport to love their children, call them sharply, but soon allow them to witness a heinous act. 

When Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson hurries along the path to the village square, she slides into place in the crowd next to her friend Mrs. Delacroix, "and they both laughed softly." "Clean forgot what day it was," Tessie says, but Mrs. Delacroix assures her, "You're in time, though. They're still talking away up there."
However, later she scolds Tessie when her name is drawn from the black box:

"Be a good sport, Tessie....All of us took the same chance."

Then, when everyone gets ready to stone Tessie, Mrs. Delacroix seems eager to stone her as she

...selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar. "Come on," she said. "Hurry up."

3. The natural proclivity of humans for violence

In the beginning of the story, the boys gather stones quickly;

Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones.... 

Mrs. Dunbar has stones in her hands, but cannot hurry fast enough. She calls out "....I'll catch up with you" to the others.

Once the drawing of the name is made, Old Man Warner calls out, "Come on, come on, everyone."