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The short story the lottery and conformity - Essay Example

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An individual with distinct standards forfeits them and assumes standards in his or her society. Shirley Jackson, in her short story, The Lottery, explains this through…
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The short story the lottery and conformity
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Download file to see previous pages Conformity is valuable to the society because cohesion and smooth running of events and processes. A person who drives on the right side of the road is a good example of definition of conformity and illustrates its benefits through safe road usage. Deciding to act against the norm by driving on the wrong side of the road will however risk the life of the actor as well as the life of other road users. In the short story, the society is deeply rooted to its Lottery tradition and even though no one compels it to commit the murder act, it chooses to stand by its tradition. Even though the specific example identifies a wrong act, murder of an innocent member of the society, the author communicates the power of conformity to tradition that can help a society to achieve its objectives. Conformity therefore promotes retention of good cultural beliefs in a society and may improve resistance from negative practices from other cultures. The city residents’ resistance to abandoning their culture and assume practices or changes in other societies demonstrates this. The author uses the black box and the lottery as symbols for illustrating this role of conformity. Even though the real box was lost and the current one is old, the villagers have chosen to stick by the two symbols and this shows the power of conformity that may facilitate a society’s theme regardless of dynamism around the society (Jackson 2- 27).
Conformity is also valuable to society because it allows us to adapt to the society in a normal way and for our own good so that we might not hurt ourselves later in life. Even though The Lottery only highlights the murder ritual, there could be positive values that the tradition facilitates. The society’s reaction to the lottery also suggests that such values develop naturally and the uniformity means that an individual is less likely to be in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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