Traditions In


Traditions In “A Moment BEfore The Gun Went Off” And “The Lottery” Essay, Research Paper

Traditions in “A Moment BEfore the Gun Went Off” and “The Lottery”

In the stories “A Moment before The Gun Went Off” and “The Lottery,”

there is the situation in which a group of people cling to traditions very

blindly. In both stories the traditions are so dug into the people’s way of life

that questioning them is considered sacrilege within these communities.

Furthermore, the members of the community no longer even remember why the

traditions were set up in the fist place. They follow the traditions simply

because their predecessors followed the traditions. Another similarity between

the communities in both stories is, even though these traditions are firmly

entrenched in these communities, they are rapidly losing there grip in other

communities. This detail is not only mentioned in both stories, but looked down

upon by communities that still follow the traditions.

In the storyThe Lottery,” the tradition is to hold a lottery on a

specific summer day, but instead of winning a cash prize or some other good

thing, the winner gets to be stoned to death by the members of the community.

The character that is mentioned most in this story is one by the name of Mrs.

Hutchinson. Mrs. Hutchinson is a devoted mother and housewife. She is the one

who eventually gets singled out to win the lottery. So it is Mrs. Hutchinson who

is impacted the most brutally by the lottery. However the other people of the

village are affected differently by the lottery. It is very unlikely that the

people of the village kill people for the sake of killing people. More likely

there is a deeper reason. One possibility is that the people of this village of

this village are looking for a scapegoat. A person to take the blame for

mistakes and sins of others, so one person dies for a community and saves the

community from whatever sins that had been committed.

The society can be affected in many ways by the lottery. Other neighbor

societies have been affected by the lottery, many have abandoned the tradition

of the lottery. Even in the community where the story takes place many of the

rituals that go along with the lottery are fading into the past to be forgotten

forever. An example of this would be the chant that originally went with the

lottery. Depending on how well the villages communicate with one another

determines the fate of the lottery. If the people responsible for abolishing the

lottery in other towns spread their preaching, there is a chance the tradition

of the lottery could be destroyed. Another factor that dictates the future of

the lottery is the population of the village, if the village grows large there

are more people with all kinds of new ideas, a few of which could be to get rid

of the lottery. Eventually the societies that are home to the lottery will deal

with their sins and end the tradition of the lottery.

The story “A Moment before The gun Went Off” is one that takes place in

Africa. In the story the White minority are the ones in charge. In this

particular society, blacks are the blue collard workers while the whites take

the higher positions. The main character of the story is Mr. Van der Vyver. In

the story Mr. Van der Vyver accidentally kills a young farm hand by the name of

Lucas. Mr. Van der Vyver is more than Lucas’s employer he is his father, so Mr.

Van der Vyver feels truly sorry for killing Lucas. Mr. Van der Vyver does not

grieve with his wife for the death of their son because he is not married to the

Lucas’s mother. The tradition in this story is that interracial marriages do not

occur. While this tradition is not as brutal as the one from “the Lottery” it is

just as sad.

I believe that the society from “A Moment Before The Gun Went Off” will

suffer the same fate as that of the one from “The Lottery.” Tradition will give

way to change, blacks will hold high social positions, whites will marry blacks.

One way or another this will be the eventual fate of the community no matter how

hard the whites try to separate the black from the whites.

In both these stories there is a some sort of tradition that grips the

communities very tightly. These traditions may have been vital for the survival

of the communities in the past, however as time passes the need for these

traditions becomes nonexistent. As the communities grow and become closer to

others the process of abandoning the traditions speeds up. this is because there

is more communication between the people of different sex, religion and color.

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