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Utopian Societies in The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas and The Lottery

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 1850 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)
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The Utopian Societies in the Short Stories “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,” by Ursula K. Le Guin, and “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson




The accounts of utopian societies in the short stories “The Ones Who Walk Away from
Omelas,” by Ursula K. Le Guin, and “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson have shocking twists as
the reader learns that there is a high price to pay for their apparent happiness. These societies
seem perfect on the surface; however, as we understand more about its citizens and their
traditions, we learn that utopia is exactly what its definition suggests: impossible. The sacrifice
made by these communities in order to keep their society perfectly happy turns out to be
fruitless. Their ideas of how society should function are doomed to fail, because people are
inherently prone to selfishness and often engage in evil. This, paradoxically, condemns them
tounhappiness.

In “The Lottery,” the town’s people held an annual lottery in which all of the citizens
participated. The twist is that its winner would ultimately be stoned to death. Old M...


... middle of paper ...


...a tragedy of humanity. The sacrifices in the lottery in the
village and of the child in Omelas are pointless. Everyone loses.



Works Cited
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.”Ed. John Schilb and John Clifford.Making Literature Matter:
An Anthology for Readers and Writers. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009. 837-44. Print.

Le Guin, Ursula K. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.” Ed. John Schilb and John
Clifford. Making Literature Matter: An Anthology for Readers and Writers.Boston:
Bedford/St. Martins, 2009.1508-511. Print.


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