Shirley Jackson's - The Lottery

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According to anthropologist, William A. Haviland, “… ritual is the means by which the social bonds of a group are reinforced and tensions relieved.” Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery,” vividly illustrates the ease with which the individual in society tolerates and even participates in acts that if undertaken singly would be considered reprehensible. The author’s skillful use of setting, mood and foreshadowing, brings to life this story of an otherwise idyllic community who, …

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…be conducted. The reminiscing serves as a reminder to the villagers of the way things are and the way they have always been. The sheer weight of generations of villagers following the lottery tradition is felt. The mood of the people shifts from amicability, to false bravado, to relief and finally nervous release as they fulfill the obligation of stoning the victim. Even little Davy Hutchinson is handed a pebble to wield against his mother.