In the stories “A Moment before The Gun Went
Off” and “The Lottery,” there is the situation in
which a group of people cling to traditions very
blindly. In both stories the traditions are so dug
into the people’s way of life that questioning them
is considered sacrilege within these communities.
Furthermore, the members of the community no longer
even remember why the traditions were set up in the
fist place. They follow the traditions simply
because their predecessors followed the traditions.
Another similarity between the communities in both
stories is, even though these traditions are firmly
entrenched in these communities, they are rapidly
losing there grip in other communities. This detail
is not only mentioned in both stories, but looked
down upon by communities that still follow the
In the story “The Lottery,” the tradition is to
hold a lottery on a specific summer day, but
instead of winning a cash prize or some other good
thing, the winner gets to be stoned to death by the
members of the community. The character that is
mentioned most in this story is one by the name of
Mrs. Hutchinson. Mrs. Hutchinson is a devoted
mother and housewife. She is the one who eventually
gets singled out to win the lottery. So it is Mrs.
Hutchinson who is impacted the most brutally by the
lottery. However the other people of the village
are affected differently by the lottery. It is very
unlikely that the people of the village kill people
for the sake of killing people. More likely there
is a deeper reason. One possibility is that the
people of this village of this village are looking
for a scapegoat. A person to take the blame for
mistakes and sins of others, so one person dies for
a community and saves the community from whatever
sins that had been committed.
The society can be affected in many ways by the
lottery. Other neighbor societies have been
affected by the lottery, many have abandoned the
tradition of the lottery. Even in the community
where the story takes place many of the rituals
that go along with the lottery are fading into the
past to be forgotten forever. An example of this
would be the chant that originally went with the
lottery. Depending on how well the villages
communicate with one another determines the fate of
the lottery. If the people responsible for
abolishing the lottery in other towns spread their
preaching, there is a chance the tradition of the
lottery could be destroyed. Another factor that
dictates the future of the lottery is the
population of the village, if the village grows
large there are more people with all kinds of new
ideas, a few of which could be to get rid of the
lottery. Eventually the societies that are home to
the lottery will deal with their sins and end the
tradition of the lottery.
The story “A Moment before The gun Went Off” is
one that takes place in Africa. In the story the
White minority are the ones in charge. In this
particular society, blacks are the blue collard
workers while the whites take the higher positions.
The main character of the story is Mr. Van der
Vyver. In the story Mr. Van der Vyver accidentally
kills a young farm hand by the name of Lucas. Mr.
Van der Vyver is more than Lucas’s employer he is
his father, so Mr. Van der Vyver feels truly sorry
for killing Lucas. Mr. Van der Vyver does not
grieve with his wife for the death of their son
because he is not married to the Lucas’s mother.
The tradition in this story is that interracial
marriages do not occur. While this tradition is not
as brutal as the one from “the Lottery” it is just
I believe that the society from “A Moment
Before The Gun Went Off” will suffer the same fate
as that of the one from “The Lottery.” Tradition
will give way to change, blacks will hold high
social positions, whites will marry blacks. One way
or another this will be the eventual fate of the
community no matter how hard the whites try to
separate the black from the whites.
In both these stories there is a some sort of
tradition that grips the communities very tightly.
These traditions may have been vital for the
survival of the communities in the past, however as
time passes the need for these traditions becomes
nonexistent. As the communities grow and become
closer to others the process of abandoning the
traditions speeds up. this is because there is more
communication between the people of different sex,
religion and color.