Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" reveals images to aid the reader in understanding society, traditions, and blind obedience of a small village town. The story stresses the importance of questioning what is put in front of a person as opposed to what a person contemplates in their mind. As civilized, ethical, and dignified human begins we have the right to criticize the traditions in society because we are the society. Looking at society from our own experiences and pass judgments, there is a point where a line must be drawn and wasting of human life is that line. This tale of a brutal and heinous stoning of an innocent and unlucky woman shows how some values are wrong in one society and to another society right. .
We learn immediately that the townspeople feel totally justified to participating in the day's events. The young kids gathered in the town square. Laughing, playing, and having fun, the kids gathered stones and put them into a pile. When the men and women arrived, they brought with them a less jovial tone. Jackson mentions the pile of stones at the beginning of the selection and how the older people distance themselves from it. She explains, "They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed" (Jackson 78). This incident shows the reader that something is not right about this society. The reader eventually learns that the gathering is part of a sick and twisted tradition in which the members of the village drew slips of paper from a box and who ever drew the slip with a black spot was stoned to death. .
We see indications throughout the story that revealed that some of the townspeople thought the tradition as being foolish, so it needed to be stopped. One of the characters explains, "that over in the north village they"re talking of giving up the lotteries" and that "Some places have already quit lotteries" (Jackson 81).