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The Behavior of the Villagers, Toward the Topic of Human Sacrifice

Autor:   •  August 7, 2017  •  Creative Writing  •  1,311 Words (6 Pages)  •  397 Views

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The behavior of the villagers, toward the topic of human sacrifice.




Professor: Jesus Sosa

Cédula: 22.194.264

Writing and reading English II



The behavior of the villagers, toward the topic of human sacrifice.

Human sacrifice is one of the most remarkable and controversial themes of the short story "The Lottery", written by Shirley Jackson. The villagers that live in a small town have a special behavior with respect to the topic of human sacrifice. Due to that it is a tradition for the people to do a lottery, where the winner, Mrs. Hutchinson is stoned to death by the people in the town. In fact the people practice this tradition with the goal to have good crops and according to archaeologist Mike Parker-Pearson (2005), he said that, “Human sacrifice requires the exchange of a life - willingly or not - in return for supernatural assistance." In other words, in accordance with the belief of the villagers the death of Mrs. Hutchinson is necessary to ensure rich crops and therefore their survival. Likewise the mechanical behavior of villagers regarding the act of sacrifice creates astonishment, curiosity or horror to the reader because it seems strange or even abnormal in the actual society. So that this essay will try to understand, explain and to get a clearer perspective about their behavior with respect to human sacrifice.

Today it sounds illogical to sacrifice human beings because this practice does not fit in with the lifestyle of these modern times, where respect and preservation of human rights are basic values, of countries, institutions and activist groups around the world. In contrast the villagers see only the part of the tradition and to have a better understanding about why they do it, is necessary to seek to see the origin of their behavior. First, the concept of social behavior, according to the authors Marc H. Bornstein, Richard M. Lerner and Jerome Kagan, (2016), “Human behaviour, the potential and expressed capacity for physical, mental, and social activity during the phases of human life.” In this definition, behavior is an individual characteristic that is molded during different phases of life for example childhood and adolescence. Moreover behavioral development may be determined by “the interaction of inborn biological factors with external factors, rather than the mutually exclusive action or predominance of one or the other force, that guides and influences human development”, according to the authors Marc H. Bornstein, Richard M. Lerner and Jerome Kagan, (2016). This means that genetic endowment and environment can influence in the behavioral development of the people. Therefore, these factors determine the collective behavior of the villagers, who have inherited genetic information of their ancestors to accept the belief of human sacrifice as way to get good crops. Furthermore they have seen this tradition since childhood and for them sacrifice is seen as common and acceptable in their culture.

Another important aspect of the novel, it is when there is a conversation between old Wagner and Mr. Adams, who told him that some villagers did not accept the lottery and Wagner said, “"Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live hat way for a while. Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.' First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There's always been a lottery," (P. 4). It is noted that there is a survival behavior that motivates them to solve possible problems that may arise in their environment. This need to survive makes the village think


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