Conformity in The Lottery, The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas and The Namesake

Conformity in The Lottery, The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas and The Namesake

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To stand firm in ones beliefs is a difficult task. It takes a strong-minded person with boldness to stand for what he or she believes in. The possible consequence for doing so is isolation, humiliation or the success of changing ones view. Given that standing up for oneself makes the person vulnerable, out of fear, many suppress their ideas and settle for the beliefs of others. In The Lottery, The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas and The Namesake, the characters struggled with the decision to conform to society or go against social norms to defend their morals.

In The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, the people of the village are consumed by a tradition. Every year in the month of June, they conduct a lottery to determine who will be stoned. The unjustified killing of a human being is widely viewed as an iniquitous act. Although surrounding communities have ceased the tradition of the lottery, this society continues the tradition. The idea of not practicing the tradition has been brought up numerous times within the community but “the subject was allowed to fade off ” (351). The community was conscience of the tradition being unethical but because it was a part of their heritage and believed to determine the success of their harvest, no one would do anything about the lottery. Once she is picked from the lottery, Tessie Hutchinson notices that the people are not conducting the lottery fairly and decides to stand up against the tradition. It can be inferred that women were not considered equal to the males of the village. Tessie—a woman— had the courage to stand against the tradition. Tessie understood that not all traditions are good. A tradition can be so engraved into an individual that they forget its purpose. In the story...


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...eir society is considered heroic. However, in The Namesake, Ashima negotiates her beliefs to conform to American society. Even though her actions could be seen as cowardly, being that she has consciously moved to a new country, she must adjust to the new way of living. As humans, we are challenged daily with our understanding of the world and what is considered morally right and wrong. It is up to the individual to decide to conform or be rebellious.









Works Cited

Abcarian, Richard, and Marvin Klotz. "The Lottery." Literature: the Human Experience. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin's, 2006. 350-56. Print.

Abcarian, Richard, and Marvin Klotz. "The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas." Literature: the Human Experience. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin's, 2006. 357-61. Print.

Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Print.

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