annotated bib 3A - We know that it is meaningless because...

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Allen, Barbara. "A Folkloristic Look at Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery'." Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 87 . Ed. Christopher Giroux. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1995. 231-234. In her essay, Barbara Allen elaborates on the blind following of customs and traditions that cultures often go through. To the people of this village, their annual lottery that they hold has lost all meaning. What keeps this rite occurring year after year is the momentum of tradition. This tradition is embodied in the character of Old Man Warner, the oldest member of the village, who denounces neighboring villages that have abandoned the lottery as a “pack of crazy fools.” Shirley Jackson characterizes the lottery as a behavior which has been devolved or degenerated through time until it has reached its currently meaningless state.
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Unformatted text preview: We know that it is meaningless because of everything from the parts of lottery that have been changed, such as the woodchips being replaced with slips of paper; to the parts which have been completely forgotten, such as the public confession of sin and the tuneless chant from the lottery official. “The point of ‘The Lottery’ is that blind adherence to traditional forms of behavior that have lost their original meanings and acquired no new, positive ones, can be destructive (Allen 233). But in spite of the reduction of the lottery to empty ritual, the villagers cling tenaciously to it which proves that behavior can exist through time even when the original meanings have been long forgotten....
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