The lottery

Length: 2 Pages 623 Words

In reading, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, written in 1948, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” written in 1975. Both stories begin with themes of peace and harmony among families in a given society. In reality they turn out to be total acts of inhumanity and cruelty taking place in these stories. Although the stories are similar in certain aspects, there are three important differences in the two stories, such as their theme, sacrifice, and action. In “ The Lottery” the author’s main focus is to allow the reader to become aware that there is one person who will be sacrificed, which in reality is to take the burden of society to allow the rest of the village to live in contentment. The people in this village know that the significance of the lottery means death, but for the sake of a great harvest year, the villagers will ignore the innocent life of a human being and contin Continue...

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They were in total acceptance of the drawing, even though the significance of the black box meant death for one family member. Since the villagers believe that the crop symbolizes livelihood for the people, they then assume this crop will bring prosperity for the entire town. In conclusion, it is apparent that in both stories the main purpose was to forfeit someone for the benefit of each society, and in both stories tradition has blinded these people and families in an irrational, self serving way, which made them unable to think of a justifiable reason why these actions should not occur. Heartlessness and cruelty were demonstrated when the people refused to oppose and take action on the behalf of the lottery, but what is ironic is that they instead took part in killing an innocent member of their village with no apparent sorrow or remorse. The citizens who walked out of Omelas showed not only that they were courageous in doing this deed, but expressed that they had sympathy for the suffering child in misery. In order for this society to have full utopia and ecstasy, they sacrificed this poor child, which was a horrible act on a society's part. They were brave souls and subjected to what was said to be a utopian society. In addition, there was no action taken on the part of the villagers from the lottery. Moreover, having moral values holds true in this story because some citizens were aware that the mistreatment of a child had taken place, but refused to give up happiness. In Omelas, the people in that given society took action and showed humanity and civilization. Where as some people experienced the child and his living conditions, and then decided to take on a strong act of defiance and leave Omelas forever. In contrast, in, " The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, the authors main focal point is that utopia can be a mixture of brutalness in a society were political principles are a way of life in a societies main beliefs and values, which is being in full utopia based upon the misery of one child. People were very fearful of the lottery, but took on this sacrifice for prosperity.


Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"
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