In many cultures, there are traditions that are followed without question by its people. Some traditions as harsh as being served up as a sacrifice to appease the gods, as illustrated in the work of Shirley Jackson's "the lottery". To an outsider this may seem harsh and inconceivable, but to those referred to in this story it was completely common and somewhat understandable.
Although these occurrences were understandable, it was only due to a lack of questioning by the tribes inhabitants. In "the lottery" it was almost common for the women to be sacrificed, however it was portrayed to be fair based on the drawing of the randomly selected tickets located inside of the box. The box was guarded by a man, which in this day and age, one might begin to suspect fowl play if only women were picked. In the end of the story Mrs. Hutchinson was stoned to death as the ritualistic sacrifice, but not before she pleaded her case and exclaimed how wrong the sacrifice was.
Many could find a way to argue how this lottery is quite immoral. To stop a process like the lottery it would take a rather big revolution of thinking. The women seem to have little to no power at all, so it would appear that it would be left up to the men or at least one man to speak up and explain how wrong and unthinkable these sacrifices were.
It would seem that there would be a few things that could be done to if not stop a process like the lottery then alter it. One of these things would have to be the urgency made relevant by Mr. Summers to change the old box by replacing it with a new one. Lay to rest any unease brewing...