Bullying with age. The short story “The

Bullying with age. The short story “The

Bullying Bullying is not a new issue. It has been around longer than I, or anyone I know can remember. Now there is much discussion on what is considered bullying, as there is no true standard definition of bullying. Bullying can be defined as to treat abusively, or to affect by means of force or coercion. Yet, “In all bullying, there’s intent to do harm, a perceived power imbalance, and it is repetitive in nature”(WC6). Bullying is no longer a common problem amongst the young, it is also present in adult peer groups as well.

Bullying used to be considered as kids just being kids, a part of growing up.There is no longer any particular association with age. The short story “The Lottery” helps readers to better understand bullying. Bullying can occur in several forms, such as physical, verbal, and cyber.

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The most visual form of bullying is physical. Physical bullying is physical abuse, and is easily recognized by bruising, bleeding, or even broken bones. This can be the bruise left behind from a parent hitting a child, or grabbing the child too hard, such as when “Bobby Martin ducked under his mother’s grasping hand and ran,”(2).

It can be the throwing of something with the intention to cause harm such as “the great pile of stones in one corner of the square”(2) that the boys had collected to stone Mrs. Hutchinson, as she was unfortunate to “win” the lottery. She pleaded “it isn’t fair”(14) as “the villagers moved in on her”(14). As in most forms of physical bullying, the aggressor pays no attention to the victim’s pleas.

In some cases, the victim’s pleading angers the bully and can cause him to do more harm. O’Connor, Mary Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 7th Edition. Eds. Laurie G.

Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. 447-457. Another form of bullying can be verbal. This can be in the form of gossip, as in “The Lottery”, when the womenfolk gathered and “greeted one another and exchanged bits of gossip”(2). I believe that gossip is the most common form of bullying, as it is not just present among children and teenagers.

It crosses all generation gaps, genders, race, disabilities, sexual orientations, and occupations.Males and females often engage in this form of bullying. A victim of gossip could possibly lose the trust of the people they are closest to, or their job, or even their friends.

It could be something as simple as someone saying the victim stole money or something valuable from their job or their friend. It could be something worse, like spreading throughout the office, “the only reason she got the promotion is because she slept with the boss. ” Attacking one’s character or reputation can have serious consequences for the victims.Once words have been spoken, they cannot be undone.

The internet has become a large part of many people’s lives and along with that, there is cyber-bullying. With all the social networks available, there is a large audience always available to see what comments or photographs are posted on one of these sites. The victim or victims have no way to turn from this type of bullying, as they can in physical or verbal bullying, since whatever is posted can potentially go viral, and be seen by hundreds, possibly thousands of people at one time.Nothing is private anymore with many people now carrying cell phones with the ability to access the internet, that also take pictures or videos.

People can now photograph, video record, or record conversations that were not intended for other people, and post them on the internet in the amount of time that it takes to push a button. The victims are usually unaware of this occurrence until someone they know informs them of what they have seen or read on one of the social networks. Bullying causes bullying. The town continued with drawing “The Lottery” even though “much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded”(4).The townspeople have been bullied throughout their lives with this ritual, yet they continue to impose this ritual on each other although the reasons for the ritual itself no longer seem important. This is evident because “the black box grew shabbier each year”(4). This is as if to say that no one cares about the box or what it stands for, but again, they continue with “The Lottery” year after year.

This year’s bully could be next year’s victim. The whole town becomes the bullies against one although they “had forgotten the ritual”(14), “they still remembered to use stones”(14).Even the reluctant villagers are encouraged to participate as Old Man Warner says “Come on, come on, everyone”(14). In many cases the victims become the bully to protect themselves from the badgering of the original bully or bullies.

Be a bully or become bullied. In this particular story, no matter who initiates or becomes the bully, there is always a victim as with all bullying. Bystanders are a big part of the bullying scenario. This draw of attention is usually what the bully wants. They want to people to watch and notice them. It doesn’t matter if the attention is negative or positive.

Many times the bystanders may cheer on the bully, or watch silently not knowing what they should do. Although too scared to speak up to try to help or stop the actions like Mrs. Delacroix as “She held her breath while her husband went forward”(8) could possibly cause the bystander to become a victim himself. Many times when a bystander considers trying to stop the bully or help the victim another bystander tells them that they shouldn’t do it like when Old Man Warner says “Nothing but trouble in that”(9) when he is told that “Some places have already quit lotteries”(9).As you can see, bullying can take on many different forms.

It can also be the result of many different factors as well. There is more than physical scarring for the victims of bullying. There are the emotional and psychological scars that are also present, but not at all visible. The fear that a victim feels is very real. These fears along with physical, emotional and psychological scars can have lifelong effects on the victims.


2011. O’Connor, Mary Flannery. “A Good Man is Hard to Find. ” Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 7th Edition.

Eds. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. 447-457. “SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS POSITIONED TO HELP VICTIMS OF BULLYING” States News Service 7 Jan.

2011. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.


Academic OneFile. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.

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