In the days of Jesus through the mid 1900s, people had many different superstitions, or beliefs, about life. People believed if they were to do certain things, they would have good luck. Like Indians used to do a dance, called the Indian rain dance, when they wanted it to rain so it would help their crops or even their heritage. It was a dance people still believe in today, but those people dont know that the reason they said it worked was because the Indians didnt quit dancing until it rained. There are many superstitions in todays time as well. I know that in the game of baseball many different players have different superstitions. Just like David Wells, when he used to pitch for the New York Yankees, believed if he listened to Metallica before every game he pitched he would have a good game. But regardless if David Wells listened to Metallica or not, he would still pitch the same if he didnt listen to them. All I am saying is that Shirley Jackson, when she wrote The Lottery, in 1948, was trying to show everyone about the different superstitions, or beliefs, each culture, town, or village had and how bad they were. Even the kids in the village got ready for the lottery, it didnt faze them, and all they knew was that it was just an event that happened every year. After all, villages, tribes, or cultures have many different traditions they all tend to put their full trust in.
The lottery is a drawing that takes place on June 27th of every year, right before the crop season. Everyone who lives in the village, even the children, draws a piece of paper from the black box and doesnt look at it until everyone draws theirs. When everyone finishes drawing, you turn your piece of paper over and the one with the mark on in, which is marked with coal, is the one who wins the lottery. But if you this lottery it isnt a good thing. The person who wins the lottery, the one with the marked sheet of paper, gets stoned to death. The villagers believe that if they have a lottery before cropping season they will have a good season. This is one of those beliefs, or superstitions, they have that makes everyone think that everything is going to become good. According to Old Man Warner, who has been attending the lottery for seventy-seven years, towns would be crazy to give up the lottery. When Mr. Adams told Old Man Warner that the north village was talking about giving up the lottery, Old Man Warner snorted, Pack of crazy fools. Listening to young folks, nothings good enough for them.
Old Man Warner believes in the lottery and thinks that if other villages give it up things would be bad. He also said Theres always been a lottery. This statement makes me think that this is the only reason they have one. Sometimes superstitions go on for such long periods of time and we do them so often, they become traditions, a have to. When Old Man Warner says the word always, I began to wonder if he even believes in the lottery, or is he thinking it works because they always have one.
But if you are trying to decide if the lottery is a belief or a tradition, look at the examples I have given.Try and think about the meanings of each and make your decision.