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Essay ii

Essay II

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


In the story "The 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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