Comparison Of Short Stories

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Comparison of Short Stories

Thesis:   The story “The Lottery” gives a quick glance to the actualization of human behavior and society by describing the various characters in the story or the “townspeople,” by providing a familiar setting in a typical American town, and by conveying many underlying themes that can be seen throughout the story.    



Flat Characters




The Day

III. Theme:

A Not All Traditions Are Good Ones

B. Gender

The Rocking Horse Winner


Child (innocence)

Antagonist, Mother (unquenchable greed)



The Day

III. Theme:

Innocence cannot survive when confronted with greed and selfishness


The Lottery

In today's society we have to follow laws. These laws provide a moral foundation for people to act. When someone breaks a law they are punished for it, but what happens when all of a society breaks the law? Who is there to administer punishment? In Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" all the townsfolk break a very serious law once a year. They all commit murder. Those people like the villagers who blindly follow society often participate in atrocious acts because they do no have to take responsibility for their actions.

Many people ignorantly follow society without regard for the outcome of their actions. The villagers who participate in the lottery are no different. Every June 27th all the villagers gather to hold the annual lottery. The villagers know the outcome will be the death of a member of their town, yet they have participated in it for years and years. What would make the families of those who have died in the lottery want to continue to participate in such a terrible tradition? It could be superstition, Old Man Warner, who has been in the lottery for seventy-seven years, mentions an old saying "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon." This saying may shed some light only the reason that they have the lottery, but for an entire society to participate in the stoning of one randomly chosen person merely for an old superstition seems very extreme. Another reason, and a more likely one, that the villagers still participate in they lottery could be as simple as peer pressure. In groups people are more persuasive, and if two hundred and seventy-five of the villagers want to continue the lottery and twenty-five oppose it, those twenty-five will soon be persuaded to participate after a verbal attack about tradition from the other two hundred and seventy-five.

The Rocking-Horse Winner

In the short story “The Rocking Horse Winner,” D.H.

Lawrence uses his characters as symbols in support of the theme that innocence cannot survive when confronted with greed and selfishness. This theme is prominent twice in the story. First the theme is shown through the corruption of Paul, leading him to push himself to extremes which ultimately lead to the second and more horrifying example, his death. According to one critic, this story proves to be “Lawrence's strongest indictment of materialism and the strongest demonstration of the incompatibility of the love of money and the love of human beings” (Kaplan 1972).

Comparison between The Lottery and Rocking-Horse Winner

Throughout history some of the ...
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