In the short story, "The Lottery," why should the lottery not be continued? Discuss this. Give evidence/quotes from the story.I need around 4 strong points.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aside from the barbarity of "The Lottery," where a member of the community is chosen at random and then murdered--stoned to death--there are other clues that the ancient ritual has run its course. We can assume that the lottery was originally instituted as a form of sacrifice for plentiful rain and good crops, but no one seems to know when--or even why--it began. It is merely a ritual that has continued despite the people who "half-listened" and were "disengaged" with the formalities. There is apparently little need for such sacrifice. In the opening sentence of the story we find that

The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.

Since the climate is already perfect for farming and planting, why indeed is there a need for human sacrifice for good weather? 

Other nearby communities have already considered stopping the practice, and a few people voice concern about the fate that awaits their neighbors. The lottery has simply become a ritual with little purpose other than to maintain a tradition that has continued for many generations. Like the burning of witches at the stake, the lottery has become outdated and its victims are innocent choices of random selection.


mkcapen1 | Student

"The Lottery" is a human rights issue and because the people are stoned to death it is an inhuman act.  In the story the people gather like cows to come together and wait for someone to be slaughtered.  They look the other way until it is narrowed down.  Even Tessie did that until her family name was the one who was left in the box. 

The chosen one is like an animal when it comes up to be slaughtered.  It panicks in the unfamiliar territory.  Tessie became panicked because she knew what would happen.

Some traditions can be harmful and I would state that the lottery is one of them.

"but no one liked to upset even as much tradition"

Read the study guide:
The Lottery

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