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In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, a community is afflicted with the inability of questioning their assumption, which by chance is executing a fellow townsfolk as a fertility rite.

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Introduction

Scotty Abram Himmer Sister Ariel Lovett Chaffin English 101 October 17th, 2012 How To Make a Donkey The ability of asking questions fearlessly has been said to be a quality of only the smartest of people. Tommy MacWilliam, an Harvard student who writes upon the difference between average Harvard students like him and Turing Award winners, concluded that ?smart people don?t take claims at face value... smart people don?t rest until they find an explanation they?re comfortable accepting and understanding.? Studies have found that those who question their circumstances are significantly more likely to live a more effective, efficient, and overall a happier life than those who don?t. In ?The Lottery? by Shirley Jackson, a community is afflicted with the inability of questioning their assumption, which by chance is executing a fellow townsfolk as a fertility rite. ...read more.

Middle

At times the community recognized certain parts of the ritual being unnecessary. In the 6th paragraph the community discontinued a tradition, ?Chips of wood, had been all very well? but now that the population was more than three hundred? it was necessary to use something that would fit more easily into the black box.? This action of eradicating useless traditions is done through the questioning of assumptions. The community saw that this part of the lottery did not add to the final product, rather it inhibited it the speed of it. In this instance the community succeeded by questioning old practices which in turn made the community more efficient when it came to achieving their goals. Unfortunately they refused to go further by questioning whether or not the ritual as a whole is necessary for successful living. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unfortunately sometimes it takes someone else to inform us that those assumptions are actually wrong. By simply asking questions you might hear ?that guy is not homosexual, he just had a lung infection as a child so he talks funny? or ?your roommate?s culture is a very coarse and cynical one, they just don?t show affection to each other, that?s why he treats you so coldly?. Furthering one?s understanding of either situation instead of making an assumption can solve both of these situations. ?The Lottery? is similar to the previous two situations, because of the adage given by Old Man Warner, the useless traditions they eradicated, and the ineffectiveness of the ritual. If the community had questioned the assumption they made about the tradition that was passed onto them the community would be a much happier folk because they would have eventually stumbled upon the truth; that success is not predicated upon arbitrary sacrifices. ...read more.

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