Ones Who Walk

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Bryce Gunning
English 161
January 2013
The Meaning Behind a Sacrifice
Essay Topic #6
The use of a sacrifice in the “Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin illustrates the differences and similarities between both settings of the short stories. Each of the stories starts with a relaxing tone easing the reader into a bright summer’s day. In the story the “Lottery” the reader is introduced into a farming community with a summer tradition about to take place. The tradition of the lottery that the community takes part in is said to have great importance to the wellbeing of the whole population as it ensures good crops for the season. However the actual act of the lottery is a symbol of passed down loyal traditions no matter how controversial. The result of such a lottery is the bloody murder of a town’s member being stoned to death by the ruthless community including her own family. As well as in the story the “Lottery”, there’s a dark underbelly in the story “The ones who walk away from Omelas.” The story begins in a wonderful utopia filled beautiful structures and content happy people. There’s a possibility with religion and sexual pleasures with no consequence of law. However the city is full of deception as their happiness is based on one child’s suffering below the city. To the town’s people the child has no gender and no feelings. Its sole purpose is to be a sacrifice for everyone’s wellbeing. Both communities in the two stories use the notion of the greatest good for the greatest number. This is to justify the in humane behavior towards each sacrificial individual. Some of the differences between the two stories are the literally settings of each. In the story the “Lottery” the setting is of small country side town somewhere in the Americas. This could be the most distracting element in the story. As it doesn’t pinpoint a certain place in which this lottery can take place. Leaving the reader questioning...
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