Comparison and Contrast of The Lottery and The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
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 theme. 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.
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The naked child sacrifice is locked in a dark cellar room, fed only a small portion of cornmeal and grease once a day, and is allowed no desirable human contact or communication. In "The Lottery" the sacrifice is simply stoned to death by the remaining community, including friends and family, although this isn't quite as sickening as the method in the other story, it is horrible and wicked nonetheless. Although it is stated in "...Omelas" that "they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weather of their skies, depend wholly on this child's abominable misery,"(para 9) there is evidence that not all agree with it. In fact, after young people see the victim in it's abhorrent condition, they are described as "shocked and sickened at the sight"(para 10), and "often the young people go home in tears, or in a tearless rage"(para 12). In "The Lottery," many parts of the ritual had been altered or long forgotten by most of the people, this fact in itself, along with a few other clues tell me that not everyone agrees with it either. One of the characters says "seems like there's no time at all between lotteries anymore"(para 22), which leads me to believe that she wishes they weren't performed as often, or at all, and another states