Francis Munoz

ENG 162W

Professor Zino

The Lottery

 Tuan’s ideals in chapter 7 express a concept that can relate to any form of society.  One principal of mythical space functions as a component in a world view, where people tend to make sense of the space they inhabit by trying to connect man’s direct connection with nature. By furthering their interest in associating space and place with mythical ideas, cultures have concluded with lasting traditions and rituals in order to maintain stability with place. (88)  In “The Lottery,” where traditions and rituals play a major role in the way their society tries to make sense of their fitness with  their environment, Tuan’s view can be clearly exemplified.

 The people of the village gather yearly for a lottery that only few remember the specifics of the tradition.  The rituals and importance of the yearly task have been passed down from generations and despite its uneasy outcome it is still carried out diligently.  Making sure that their place within their communityis still in good standing, no one dares to reject participating.  A fear of losing their rights to be part of their society can persuade someone to result in acts that they do not agree with.  The people of the “The Lottery,” react nervously when having to begin in the tradition and the idea of other towns eliminating this ritual is responded harshly by elders describing them as “ A pack of crazy fools.” (Jackson 250)  The reactions to such ideas give people a sense of ethnocentricism, they feel their way of life through culture is the only and right way to live. As Tuan states “The way people act depends on their comprehension of reality, and that comprehension, since it can never be complete, is necessarily imbued with myths,” culture plays a major role in belief’s and ideals and it is these thoughts that maintainnorms and values stable as seen in the people of the village. (Tuan 98)

 The town used to have a saying “lottery in june, corn be heavy soon” the people of the village carry out this ritual of “lottery” to appease the land and nature as a way of sacrifice to keep their place at peace with earth.   Tuan writes of the human body can be inscribed through cosmic systems, he gives an example of how “agriculture is affected by weather and the seasons, which in turn come under the influence of the stars,” from the saying in the village their ideas of how they affect their crops are highly focused on relations with mythical space and place. (Tuan 90)

 “The construction of a mythical realm satisfies intellectual and psychological needs.” (Tuan 92)  In the village everyone knows the fate of the one with the marked paper, but theirmythical views have derrived them from understanding different.  It is until the end of Jackson’s story where theme is truly clear, Mrs. Hutchinson speaks up in dissaproval, because it is easy to give out demands of violence then to have to endure the actual effects from the receiving end.    In “The Lottery” the people maintain their traditions regardless of what other town’s think or do , relating back to how “oriented mythical space differs greatly in detail from culture to another.”

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