Compare and Contrast: The Ones Who Walked Away from the Omelas and The Lottery

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What would happen if an utopia wasn’t all that perfect on the inside? Judging by just the appearance of something may lead to a situation of regret and confusion.” The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson address the theme of religious and traditional symbolism.” The Lottery” demonstrates how something that seems so perfect on the outside isn’t all that great on the inside. Symbolism shows the reader that there is a deeper message within the diction. “The Lottery” addresses the theme more successfully than “The Ones Who Walked Away from the Omelas” with the greater use of religious and traditional symbolism. The symbolisms in “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” are various, but “The Lottery” uses symbolism for personal appeal and also makes a deeper connection between the symbols and the theme, making the short story more successful. Traditions are usually passed on from parent to child at an early age. In the opening lines of "The Lottery," Shirley Jackson reveals the tradition of the lottery and how all of the villagers conform to the ritual of a human sacrifice. “The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock…” (Jackson 373) shows how the citizens of the village are used to the tradition of always gathering for the lottery. The children in “The Lottery” were stuffing their pockets with stones before all of the parents had arrived, " Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones" (373). This illustrates that the children were taught what to do in the event of the lottery and by being prepared it shows t... ... middle of paper ... ...though they were happy” (Le Guin 380) shows the reader that the Omelas were happy with their extravagant life. Le Guin states in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” that the “boys and girls were naked in the bright air” (380). An allusion to the Garden of Eden in biblical times, the nakedness represents the freedom, happiness, and utopian attitude of the people of Omelas. In conclusion, “The Lottery” and “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” both showed a town’s tradition. “The Lottery” had more religious symbolisms than “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”. “The Lottery” used the symbolisms to show a better understanding of the, not judging a book by its cover, theme. Breaking old traditions may be the best decision. Some of the Omelas walked away from the tradition, while others stayed. No one wanted to change in “The Lottery”, unless it was them getting stoned.

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