The Bad Type of Normal The Dangers of Doing Something Because It

The Bad Type of Normal: The Dangers of Doing Something Because It Has Always Been Done In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt” Loads of people prefer having a set way of doing things to make their lives easier and so they do not have to deal with change. For some people it is just sheer laziness and in some cases, it could be a tradition that has been followed for decades but people are unwilling to stray away from it. Sometime changes scare people because they do not know how to react. But is blindly doing things the same way actually good? According to both Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”, doing something because it is the normal way of doing it has negative consequences. Traditions should not be followed if they do more harm than good. However, in Jackson’s “The Lottery”, everybody is following this tradition blindly because it has always been a part of their culture. When Mr. Adams mentions to Old Man Warner that other villages are starting to give up the lottery, he calls them “a pack of crazy fools” (Jackson 4). This shows how ignorant Old Man Warner is as he is so accustomed to this tradition that he hates it when others do not agree with him. He only cares about keeping the lottery as a part of their culture and does not understand the problems that it creates as it is basically murder. It has ruined him as a person as he has become oblivious to others feelings. He simply just does not care if this tradition is morally correct or not. He must have went through a period of loss of innocence witnessing this lottery as a child and it has caused him to change and grow up into what seems to be a cold hearted individual. Due to his commitment to this tradition, innocent lives are being put in jeopardy. These villagers have done nothing wrong and do not deserve to be physically abused and killed, yet this does not seem to affect Old Man Warner in the slightest. He believes that it may be a way of keeping the town in order but is committing an act of violence on an innocent human being the right way to do it? Not only does it impact the personal lives of the victims which in this case is Tessie Hutchinson, it must also trouble her loved ones as they have to watch her get bombarded with stones. This is important because her loved ones are always going to be there for her no matter what and for them to have to watch her go through this physical abuse must take an emotional toll on them. Additionally, during this whole process, school children who have their whole lives ahead of them are also forced to take a part in this bizarre act. Once it is time to hit Tessie with pebbles, “the children had stones already” (Jackson 7). This is horrible because they are being exposed to the wrong type of behavior and this is all because the villagers are continuing this tradition year after year because they have always done it. These children are being taught that throwing stones and harming somebody is fine. If this continues, they may end up leading a similar life to Old Man Warner who marked his “seventy-seventh time”(Jackson 4) in the lottery. The last thing the villagers should want is for their children to end up like him, where they have no sympathy to the point of thinking that bruising someone with stones is okay because it is a part of their culture.Children should not be doing something because it is what they are used to as it will limit their growth as people. In Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”, the children are allowing the house to perform all their chores and do not even think about change. After George Hadley turns off the nursery, the two children “screamed and pranced an threw things. They yelled and sobbed and swore and jumped at the furniture” (Bradbury 10). This shows how spoiled the automation and this virtual reality of the nursery is making them. They are blind to mannerism and appropriate behavior. Since when did it become okay for them to swear at their parents and throw things around the house. They do not want to give up the nursery or the automation of the house since it is what they have been using their whole lives and it comes to a point where it has severely limited their desire to perform simple tasks. They are not developing as well as they could be because they are not learning simple skills needed to survive such as independently performing tasks. If they were to be stranded in a desert, what would they do without these essential skills that they are not able to learn due to the house. Furthermore, when George invites Davis McClean over to their house to check out the nursery, he tells George that he has “let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children’s affections. This room is their mother and father, far more important in their lives than their real parents” (Bradbury 9). This house and nursery has become such a permanent fixture in the children’s lives that they see to it as parents more than the people who gave birth to them. This must make George and Lydia upset since they have been replaced, they are not able to do all the things that the average parents do for their children and they are just beginning to realize it. It is partially their faults as well since they are the ones who are providing them with all these resources and knowing this can have a detrimental effect on their mental state because they could possibly blame themselves. This is important since it shows that if there had been change before things had gotten this bad, this family could be leading a normal average life where the parents are being respected by their children. The reason why this has such a negative impact on their lives is because the kids are refusing to give it up just because they have become so used to it. It has become the part of their lives which they value the most. This technology is making them oblivious to the world and people around them. Both Bradbury’s “The Veldt” and Jackson’s “The Lottery” suggest that doing something because it has always been done can impact people in a harmful way. In “The Lottery”, it causes Old Man Warner to become a cold hearted man as he has taken part in the lottery for so long and does not care about the eventual harm brought on to people because of it. In “The Veldt”, the same claim is made but in a different way. In this case, Bradbury leans more towards the children’s path and how becoming so accustomed to the house doing everything for them has impacted them. Things should not be done the same way forever, change is good as it allows people to grow.

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