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This particular day, Bill Hutchinson’s family becomes the unlucky victim. His wife, Tessie, gets the marked slip. In order to adhere to the demands of tradition, every villager picks a stone from the collected sample. Tessie is stoned to death in what narrates the tale of a community eating a member of its own.
The Lottery depicts symbolic cannibalism through the death of Tessie Hutchinson. A community ganging up to celebrate the death of its own symbolizes peer pressure. It is a kin to the warnings about smoking. The difference is that Jackson is trying to warn people against primitive loyalty to a group. Jackson questions the absence of logic in group psychology and collective conscience of this particular community that agrees to slaughter its member in a brutal manner. Two things happen on this day: the first thing is peer pressure while the second thing is the forceful exclusion of a member of the community with the purpose of giving the rest of the members a chance to bond. The story narrates how lunch is prepared in time for the ultimate enjoyment once the unfortunate member has been excluded.
Another theme that features in the text is the people’s unchallenged loyalty to tradition. This tradition presents a horrendous experience to the unlucky victim and his/her family members. It explains the excitement and nervousness that hang over the community’s head on this particular day. No member of this community has the courage to defy the norm. Nobody has the courage to question the logic behind the ritualistic execution of a member of the community. This element of loyalty is captured in the following line,
Precisely, Jackson presents an element of a dead community. The community is trapped in a rotten traditional architecture. Since people are loyal and do not think about the origin and relevance of their tradition, it is unlikely that this community would rescue its members from the horror
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