Questioningpeople 6 - Fei Feng(Frank Mr Mark English 1B...

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Fei Feng (Frank) Mr . Mark English 1B March 6, 2006 Questioning People’s Understanding of Their Behaviors The fundamental fact about the Greek was that he had to use his mind. The ancient priests had said, "Thus far and no farther. We set the limits of thought." The Greek said, "All things are to be examined and called into question. There are no limits set on thought." –Edith Hamilton Most countries in the world have their own traditions. In China, people make dragon boats to race during the dragon boat festival on May 5 of the lunar calendar. Most people in China have forgotten the origin of the tradition of racing dragon boats, but they continue to race year after year. In the United States, students say the pledge of allegiance when they go to school, but many do not even really know what they are saying. Many people are adamant about voting for a certain political party because that was how their parents and their parent’s parents had voted, but often times they do not even understand the party’s platform . In today’s society, people do things for the mere reason of tradition . In their minds, the convention ought to be obeyed with out question . This situation is illustrated in the story “The Lottery,” written by Shirley Jackson, a well-know n American writer. In th e story, Jackson points out that people’s blind obedience and acceptance of traditions and will ultimately lead to tragedy. People blindly respect and obey tradition. Jackson mentions this idea in her story “The Lottery” which features people who live in a small village conduct a special lottery every year on June 27. Slips of blank paper are placed into a black wooden box and everyone must
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take one. The person who picks the one slip of paper with the black dot on it is the “winner” of the lottery. Unfortunately , in this case, the consequence of winning the lottery is being stoned to death. Although this traumatic event occurs annuall y, the villages are unclear about the reason for the ruthless ritual. A few of the citizens “remember, there had been a recital of some sort…some people believed that the official of the lottery used to stand just so when
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Questioningpeople 6 - Fei Feng(Frank Mr Mark English 1B...

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