The theme is not entirely consistent with the tone that Shirley Jackson uses.
Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements for “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson that can be used as essay starters or paper topics.
In short, the lottery is more of a tradition rather than a ritual at the point we witness in the story but out of respect and fear for tradition, the townsfolk are more than willing to commit an act of mass violence, simply for the sake of a tradition.
There is talk of right or wrong, just tradition and standard.
On the one hand, there is great enough reverence for this ages-old tradition to continue on as it has for years even though there were some murmurs of dissent among the crowd as some recognized that other communities had done away with their lotteries.
The Lottery By Shirley Jackson Essay
Still, almost out of fear or superstition or both, the lottery continues to exist but most of the ceremony behind the ritual has been lost.He lasted through seventy-seven lotteries in which tradition was upheld with supposed circumstance.He could not understand the younger generation's lack of traditionalism (Pg. This brings up the next theme, which is people hate change because human nature is constant. Summers spoke frequently to the villagers about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box,"(Pg.During the Salem Witch Trials in early America, one of the most common complaints about presumed “witches" was that they were responsible for bad harvests, thus in many ways “The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson can be seen as a metaphor for the trials in colonial New England.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Tradition and Ritual in “The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson There is a great degree of tension about the rituals that surround the Lottery in Shirley Jackson’s short story.This is evident in his statement about them when he says, "Pack of crazy fools Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them,"(Pg.271) indicating that he thinks the lottery is a good idea simply because it is tradition.On a second and third reading, however, it becomes clear that this story is full of horrific possibilities and it is these possibilities that make the tale more frightening after the first reading.For instance, the young boy Davy—too young to even hold his slip of paper properly—could have been the one selected instead of his mother.269) this statement clearly shows the villagers' dislike for change.Even though "the black box grew shabbier each year,"(Pg. This also shows that though the lottery may be an immoral act, it is upheld by tradition and the peoples' unwillingness to any divergence in their customary lives.