In society today people have become desensitized to the most abominable of actions. No one seems to think twice about turning on the local news and watching accounts of people being gunned down while leaving the supermarket, or of a baby being left inside of a dumpster to die. Even the school shootings at Columbine did not surprise many people other than the community that it happened to. This is what happens to the townspeople in Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery". This is what happens to a society when they are exposed to years of unnecessary violence. The desensitization of this society is shown through the actions of the adults, the children and the family of the victim. .
The actions of the adults show that they have become truly desensitized to the senseless violence that occurs year after year in their town. The attitudes of the adults of the town show an utter nonchalance toward the lottery. No one really seems to show any sort of feeling towards the lottery. The only emotion that they really seem to show is one of a slight uneasiness when the actual picking of the slips of paper begins. One of the women, Mrs. Hutchinson, even forgot that the lottery was being held today. Even when the townspeople found out that it was Tess Hutchinson who was to die, they just hurried up to get their stones and throw them at her so that they could get on with their day. .
Also, their attitude toward the black box that holds the slips of paper was one of indifference. .
"The black box grew shabbier each year; by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some place faded or stained.".
It seems that most societies would treat the object of such horror with something akin to respect. These people just treat it as something of a footstool for the majority of the year. Things like this show how desensitized the adults of the community really had become.