“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
“The destructors” by Graham Greene
The society should let go of the past and traditions that are meaningless and embrace peace love and unity for the betterment of our future. Outline
1. Setting of the stories
a. Location of the stories
b. Time the stories take place
2. Main subject of the stories
c. Message portrayed
d. Main characters
e. Character traits
4. The tone of the stories
5. Irony in the stories
6. Symbolism in the stories
Compare and Contrast The Lottery and Destructors.
The Lottery story takes place just after the World War II in June of 1948 in New York. It takes place in the village and this can be supported when we are told that there were only about three hundred people in the village (Para 1) Likewise the destructors takes place just a few years after the world War II in London. We see this when the story tells as, “The gang used to meet every morning in an impromptu car park, the site of the last bomb of the first blitz.” (Para3) In both stories, there setting influences the characters. In the Lottery, the practice has been there for around seventy-seven-years (Para 11) we also see piles of stones in the vicinity which symbolizes violence. In the Destructors, the place the story takes place influences the characters, as the site where they meet every day is the last place the bomb was dropped. This symbolizes destruction and incites violence in the characters.
The main theme in the story “The Lottery” is to expose the bondage life that people are living with in the name of tradition. It is a brutal tradition that people do not seem to see how inhuman it is. The day starts in the morning at around ten o’clock with children coming in first followed by the men and finally the women. It is so disturbing to see a pile of stone in a corner as this shows how this people are brain washed by their tradition. The people leave their homes and work just to come and participate in a draw that will end up killing one of their own. They kill just because it is a tradition for them to do so every year. On the other hand, the author of the Destructors is trying to bring out how the past can affect the way the new generation approaches life. We see how the innocence of being a child is left out and replaced by cruelty. These children meet every day at the car park, a site that was destroyed by bombs (Para 3) but they do not learn from it instead they soldier on to plot their destruction. Mr. Graham also brings out the subject of power. We see how power and leadership shifts from Blackie to Trevor. After Trevor takes over leadership he works so hard to make sure that the gang knows he is in charge. This is seen the morning of serious destruction when Summers is asks, “Haven’t we done enough?” Trevor responds to him saying that they had just started. Trevor stand farm and remind him that they all voted to destroy the house, and there is no turning back.
The main characters in the lottery story include Mr. Summers, Old man Warner. Mr. Summers is the person appointed to conduct the lottery. He is described as a jovial person who runs a coal business with no children (Para 4) Perhaps this is the reason why he conducts the lottery because he has nothing to lose if he wins the lottery. Old man Warner is the oldest man in town; he has participated in the lottery for seventy-seven years (Para 5,11). In the destructors, the main characters are Trevor, Old Misery and Mr. Blackie. Mr. T becomes the leader of the gang after Blackie. Through his leadership, he leads the gang to the destruction of Old Misery’s house. We consider him as a protagonist. Mr. Blackie is also a member of the gang, and he was the leader before Trevor took over from him. He claims he heard the last bomb of the first blitz drop. Finally, Old Misery is the character that lived in the crippled house that was destroyed by the gang. Mr. Green uses him as a sympathetic character.
The tone in the Lottery story is ironical. The day is seen clear and sunny we see the flowers blossoming, and the grass is green (Para 1) All this are signs of a good day, a day where people are expected to have fun but ironically it is a day when somebody’s life is going to be sacrificed in the name of drawing a lottery. There is also irony in the title itself. When we see families coming in for the lottery event, we know that a draw is going to happen, and somebody is going to be lucky to win something worth, but ironically the lottery is about somebody drawing to cut his life short. Similarly, the story Destructors is ironical as the suffering of war is passed down to destruction of Old Misery’s house. We also see ambivalence in the destructors; this is seen in Summers as he appears restive and reminds Trevor in a questioning manner “Haven’t we done enough?”
Both stories use symbols. In the Lottery, the black box represents darkness, which is associated with evil as it is the box carrying the name of the person that will be stoned to death. The fact that boys are gathering a stone symbolizes how brainwashed they are and how the same is passed from one generation to another. The use of symbols like hacksaw, chisel and a hummer in the destructors are all tools of destruction with one aim of bringing down Old Misery’s house.