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Comparison Essay the Lottery and Rocking Horse Winner

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Tiara Randle
Mr. Christopher Robinson
English 102
6 February 2013
In this paper, I will compare two literature fiction based short stories. I will compare “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D.H Lawrence. These are two dynamic, but suspenseful short stories. They are very different in tone and style, but they have similar tragic ironies in areas of the stories. Both of the stories leaves the reader in suspense throughout it, but definitely at the strong emotional endings.
“The Rocking Horse Winner” introduction almost foreshadows and sets the tone of the whole story. Both stories are similar in the ironic them of traditional and generational aspects. This story is based on tradition of family inheritance and is a generational curse, which is made to seem good but it is not. The irony of it is that Paul states that God told him that he was lucky, but in reality his means of getting money is done through sin. He is gambling to receive the money from betting in horse races. In this story personification was described by the author (the whispering house) throughout the story. It gives off a perceptive that it is a magical horse that tells the future to a child. The introduction is also viewed as depressing because of the relationship a mother has with her children. It's as if her spirit lingers throughout the house because of the way she view herself within.
The mother was born with all advantages except she was not mentally, nor emotionally balanced in many areas of her life. It describes how the mother’s heart would always turn cold every time she was around her kids, but she would always pretend to have affection towards them. The introduction does not state why she feels that way, so it leaves the reader with an suspenseful view as to what will come of the plot. The tone is very intense in the story because Paul is striving very intensely to do something that he should not be doing. Sadly to say the story ends in his death and it is deeply emotionally based. In the mind of the reader is that Paul is only a child that was trying to help his mother, but he was pulled into generation curse that caused his life. In “The Lottery” it has a totally different tone, because it starts with a joyous warm summer day. It seems to be very pleasant and love is in the air. There are people gathering and kids collecting stones. It paints the picture that everyone enjoys each other and that the event is a good thing. In reality the lottery is not a good thing but a bad thing, which will end in someone's death. It is based on tradition of former generations passed down over periods of time over time.
This story is about a village that is stuck on a deadly, and painful tradition that has been passed on generation after generation. The story sets the tone as if the lottery is similar to a contest, but it is not. There will not be a winner but someone will actually die in the process of it all. In the beginning of the story the main character Mrs. Hutchinson completely agrees with the lottery. It seems to be a very peaceful day but also very anxious of the upcoming event. The irony of the story is that when the lottery did not work in her eyes, she was completely against the entire idea of it. She stated that it was not fair and the excuse was that her husband did not have enough time to select his slip of paper.
In both of these short stories, the actual thought of sin is justified. It is not even mentioned to be a sin in either story. In “The Rocking Horse Winner” Paul was gambling which caused pain to his mother because she did not her child entangled into the generational curse. Paul could not have understood who God was for him to go forth in gambling, after he stated that God told him that he was lucky. In “The Lottery” the sin is also overlooked. The town seems to enjoy one another but only to a certain point because they can take the life of one another at the drop of a dime.
To conclude, These two stories also are similar because kids are being affected by the traditions and generational faults. It can also be compared in many various ways of the characters and the theme, even the tone and style are so different. It truly paints the picture of life changing events that lead to an emotional roller coaster. It is driven into the pain of a suspenseful but profound death of two main characters. In my perspective both stories are ironic in the aspect of the main character death through the actual problem and not getting a relevant solution for it.

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