“The Lottery” and “Hills like White Elephants”
Regardless of the type of society people live in controversial topics and cowardly individuals can create conflict. The stories “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway implement this concept. “The Lottery” is about a small town that holds an annual lottery in which the winner will be killed. “Hills like White Elephants” is the story of a couple’s discussion over the decision they must make of whether or not to terminate their pregnancy. The social controversies and the weak female characters in these stories are similar, although their social structure is very different.
The social controversy depicted in “The Lottery” is murder and in “Hills like White Elephants” the social controversy is abortion. Murder and abortion are both a loss of life that causes conflict among the characters of these stories. In “The Lottery” Mrs. Hutchinson is killed by her own friends and family, this is similar to what might happen to Jig’s unborn child in “Hills like White Elephants”. The discussion between the couple is about whether she will have an abortion. Both stories depict controversial topics, an abrupt unforeseen murder at the end of “The Lottery” and an argument over having an abortion in “Hills like White Elephants”. The reader is left to draw their own conclusions about why the villagers in “The Lottery” kill a person every year. In most societies murder is illegal and immoral. The characters do not argue with the annual event as if it is a normal part of life to murder a person for tradition. The reader is left to draw their own conclusions about the decision the girl will make in “Hills like White Elephants”. Abortion is a controversial topic and is also illegal in some places. Some people perceive it as murder. Jig is very torn between her choices to have an abortion to appease her lover or have a baby he does not want. The leading female characters in “The Lottery” and...
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