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Shirley Jackson - the Lottery

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Environment influences people in many ways. People think that following certain behaviors is the only way to achieve a specific goal. In the “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson portrays a leader Mr. Summers who conducts the lottery as part of their generational custom. Tessie has gone along with the lottery her entire life until suddenly she decided otherwise.

Tessie is a mother who behaves according to her values. She’s a normal housewife that can fit into any community. When Tessie arrived late to the gathering Mr. Summers genially said, “Thought we were going to have to get on with out you, Tessie.” She smiled and replied, “Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you. Joe?,” This is the epitome of who she is and what she stands for.

Tessie is a typical housewife who can fit into an environment however, she’s part of something that isn’t so typical. The lottery picks someone from the community to sacrifice each year in order to for the rest of the community to prosper. “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.” They’re already looking forward to a plentiful harvest. They’re very proud of themselves for acting on their values.

When they hear about the communities who don’t keep their values they mock them. Some places have already stopped. Old Man Warner states that there’s “Nothing but trouble in that.” After 77 years of experience he’s able to firmly say that they’re a “Pack of young fools.” The community doesn’t know better if it was up to them “they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live hat away for a while.” Old Man Warner shows you that from his experience the only appropriate way to behave is to sacrifice someone each spring.

It’s easy for Tessie to follow what she values as long as it doesn’t afflict any pain on her. When push comes to shove and her husband opened the paper to see their family name on it she immediately



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