The way people continue to live each day is based on a variety of reasons, and one of those reasons is the changes they choose or choose not to make. The world continues to change daily; on the other hand, people tend to lack the ability to step forward and speak their mind because of traditions that are carried out. In the short story "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson uses characterization and symbolism to emphasize that tradition is resistant to change. Followers continue to follow and changes are not made, which illustrates a theme in the story. .
Maintaining a tradition is habitual, and in the story, the author uses the characters Mr. Summers, and Old Man Warner to reinforce the theme of keeping a tradition. Mr. Summers was committed to keeping a tradition, for he was head of the lottery and other organizations throughout his small community. Shirley Jackson writes, "It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had made the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal company office" (Jackson 5). This is what Mr. Summers has done for years, and changing was out of the question. Old Man Warner, a man that has done the lottery for seventy seven years, has his mind set on keeping the lottery going, and never putting an end to it. Old Man Warner says, "Nothing but trouble in that . . . pack of young fools" (Jackson 4). This comment was made after Mrs. Adams mentioned that places had already quit the lottery. Old Man Warner is habitual in his behavior, so when he heard someone comment on the idea of the lottery being terminated, he got sickened. People in the town fear adjusting their tradition and criticize others for trying to do so. .
Jackson gives evidence of how people will follow tradition instead of insisting on change. The story shows enough evidence that the small town was occupied with the majority of the people being followers; therefore, they will pursue the traditions that they have always practiced.