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The Lottery Case - Difference of People in Society

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Difference of People in Society

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and David Brooks' "People Like Us" are two short essays that share similar conflicts. Both of these stories contain a simple society that is compared to a civilized society. Individual versus community is the theme that takes place in these two essays. "The Lottery" illustrates more of conflict when the reader is shocked to discover such a seemingly normal society doing something so frightening. They were to kill the winner of the lottery with stones. In "People Like Us," Brooks urges us to embrace cultural awareness and suggests that we understand the importance it plays among vast communities. Brooks demonstrates that in order for the people in our society to accept diversity, we must first acknowledge and accept ourselves. Various reasons for these conflicts are also very similar in the two stories due to the theme being the same. The theme of each story is clearly defined as being outside the realm of what is loosely defined as civilization.

In Jackson's essay he creates a very shocking and horrifying situation. Through the use of characterization, setting, and the theme of the individual versus society, it can be portrayed as scapegoating. "The Lottery" is a story that demonstrates the dangers of traditions and the dark side of humans carry out certain traditions. Jackson illustrates a dark view on society, which ridicules traditions, families, and the cruelty that humans can have towards each other. Jackson reminds us of how we, too often, walk blindly with the majority, in our society. It has been proved in history with science, war and politics how people have carried out traditions. In "The Lottery", it's the way they were taught regarding social customs and traditions. The majority rule carried out in an organized manner can make a conscious decision. Because of group mentality, influence from others and fear of separation from the majority, people can become ignorant and unconscious to their way of life.

The lottery itself, serves as an illusion for a capitalistic society. The illusion deceives the people of the village into believing it is self-ruled in nature. Everyone participates in the lottery and consciously knows they have an equal chance of being selected. This, however, goes against the purpose of the lottery, which is to maintain a healthy social order that ultimately results in a good harvest season and mankind. The lottery is set up to appear as a process of random and equal selection. It takes place in the town square, and it's administered by the village's most powerful representatives. The lottery becomes more of an election instead of a process of random selection. The village's ruling class only participates to convince others that they are equal to everyone else, even though their exclusive control over the lottery suggests they are not. The lottery's illusion is an ideological effect that prevents the village from criticizing the class structure of their society. Individuals in the village believe that the lottery symbolizes that they will have a good harvest. As a matter of fact, they are also afraid that their name might be selected at random to be sacrificed. The people of the community think of the selection to be unfair. They just do not want to accept the consequences. Thus, it is evident that the theme of individuality versus society



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