How do we describe an individual’s death? Scholars and doctors have been pondering this issue for a long time, yet there is still no adequate response to it. Death is a permanent termination of all biological activities supporting a functioning organism. Across cultures, the nature of death has been explained in countless ways by different mythologies and theologies, ranging from complete annihilation to imminent life after death in Divine existence or agony (Dabek 23). Some cultures see the reality after mortality packed with an endless variety of heavenly existence pleasures. Others teach that the dead are rewarded by becoming themselves gods, while others show eternal rebirth based on past life’s doings. In this paper, the concept of death will be analyzed according to the “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson.

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On an elementary level, “The Lottery” urges audiences to reflect on the beliefs and practices that members of a society are thoughtlessly following and criticizes how custom confuses right and wrong. The lottery therefore develops into a way to examine social constructs in relation to death. In this manner, the story creates a critical incite in the depiction of death in various social and societal spaces in the real world today. In “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson represents the scapegoat notion as someone is blamed for a society’s evils and exiled to oust sin and enable for renewal. Death is, therefore treated as a punishment to woes that exist in a community.

Mob psychology governs the inhabitants and gives up their excuse to behave with excellent violence. This group of people is ready to take anyone’s life regardless of the comprehension of the background of any situation. The resident’s disorder that initially appears conventional and congenial represents the likelihood of brutal deeds carrying position in any sense (Dabek 48). The townspeople’s reluctance to give up culture and challenge the ritual of the lottery suggests the adverse effects of blindly accepting tradition, more specifically, the ending of anyone’s life. The victim’s sexual identification indicates violence in a patriarchal society against women.

The central concept in the story is that people are susceptible to a group’s persecution. Safety or death is the result of being part of a group. This topic is mainly studied through the knowledge of Tessie as the annual lottery recipient. It’s also much more subliminally elucidated, though, through perspectives of the families Watson and Dunbar. In particular, the yearly lottery lays down the group’s family and society bonds and sets them up again. In the initial lottery, each unit of the family is inoculated against all of the others as the household heads draw slips. Family ties stay, but the overall group relationship disintegrates. Examples of this dissolution of community bonds are when Tessie calls for an initial lottery redo. She’s prepared to sacrifice another life as soon as it’s secure for her community. The households that have not been selected can reintegrate into society after the first round of the lottery is over. Being ready to sacrifice the life of an individual for personal or family gains is, therefore, a critical explanation of how death is sometimes treated as a miniature aspect of life in the real world today.

The selected household, even so, is now split into individuals units. The story implies that household bonds are dissolved as each person draws a slip individually. This is patterned when Tessie attempts to stress that as a portion of the Hutchinson family, her divorced girl is involved. Instead of trying to safeguard her sister, Tessie feels out as a person for herself. Eventually, after Tessie’s drawing the labeled patch is disclosed, the remainder of her household is assimilating into the society (Hyman 48). Tessie remains as the lone person, deported from the community’s security. As people, even her family, stones Tessie to suicide, the town is unionized. Taking Tessie’s life was, therefore, a flume for which the community could come together. Her family’s decision to take part in the stoning depicts the role that a family may play in dealing in life or death situations. In this manner, Tessie’s death also portrays the role of culture and group thinking in handling death in society.

The death of Tessie is an extreme instance of how communities can, for absurd reasons, oppress blameless individuals. Current similarities are simple to create, since all preconceptions, whether depending on ethnicity, gender, gender, faith, social class, locality, household history, or gender, are accidental (Yildirim 61). Those condemned are “labeled” because of a trait or feature that is beyond their control; for instance, they are the “incorrect” gender or the “incorrect” portion of the nation. Just as the townspeople blindly follow tradition in “The Lottery” and kill Tessie because that is what they were anticipated to do, people in the real world frequently vilify others without scrutinizing why. Any such repression, as Jackson indicates, is accidental, which is why the strange death of Tessie is so prevalent in the real world today.


Works Cited

Dabek, A. The Picture of Society in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. GRIN Verlag, 2014.

Hyman, M. Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation. Macmillan, 2016.

Yildirim, Ahmet. Blind adherence to traditions in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. GRIN Verlag, 2014.