The differences between "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson and "The Ones
Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin seem relatively minor when
compared to the striking similarities they contain in setting, symbols, and
Each of the stories begin with a description of a beautiful summer day.
"The flowers were blooming profusely and the grass was richly green"(para 1) in
"The Lottery" is quite comparable to "old moss-grown gardens and under avenues
of trees"(para 1) in "...Omelas." These descriptions (along with several
others) provide positive connotations and allow the reader to relax into what
seems to be a comfortable setting in either story. Both stories also contain a
gathering of townspeople. In "...Omelas there is music, dance, and special
attire incorporated in the gathering, whereas in "The Lottery," the women show
up "wearing faded house dresses and sweaters." Although Le Guin's environment
seems more festive, all the folks in both stories are coming together for what
seems to be enjoyable, even celebratory occasions. However, I believe the
major similarity lies in the fact that these many pleasant details create a
facade within each story. The reader is then left ill-prepared when the
shocking, brutally violent, ritualistic traditions are exposed.
Children are an important focus in both stories. Jackson makes it easy
for us to imagine their "boisterous play"(para 2), and Le Guin writes "their
high calls rising like swallows' crossing flights over the music and the
singing"(para1). I see these children being used to symbolize perceived states
of happiness in both stories. I also believe they are vital necessities in each
story because they are taught and expected to carry traditions into the future.
For instance, in "The Lottery," "someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few
pebbles"(para 76), he is then able to participate in the stoning of his own... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Comparison and Contrast of the Lottery and the Ones Who Walk Away from. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Comparison-Contrast-Lottery-Ones-Walk-Away-1718.html
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"Comparison and Contrast of the Lottery and the Ones Who Walk Away from." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Comparison-Contrast-Lottery-Ones-Walk-Away-1718.html.