Similarities Involving Social Ritual and Ceremony in The Hunger Games and The Lottery

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By using arbitrary rules, inequitable odds, and blindly following traditions in The Hunger Games and “The Lottery” Collins and Jackson create an environment for a hostile social ritual and ceremony. In society rules are made so no one gets hurt and so that there is a standard of living we can all abide by; however, in The Hunger Games and “The Lottery” the rules are set to do the opposite. The rules made by “the game makers” are in place to cause chaos, death, and fear among the citizens in both stories. A rule of significance in each story is that everyone must be present for the “reaping.” Although each story has different reasons as to why everyone must be present the consequences are implied to be the same. In The Hunger Games the accumulation of potential tributes serves two purposes. The main purpose of gathering everyone and putting them in a small area is that the Capitol thrives off of power. The most evident example of the Capitol’s thirst for power is when Katness Everdeen mocks the Capitol by saying; “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you” (Collins, 19). By herding everyone into a small area it shows that the people in the Districts have no power and are merely lambs to the slaughter in the Capitol’s eyes. The second purpose being that the hunger games reaping serves as a census for the Capitol. Before the children are lined up in front of the stage they are counted, inspected, and sorted according to age then all the information the peacekeepers collect go to the Capitol. The only excuse for missing the “reaping” is said bluntly by Everdeen: “attendance is mandatory unless you are at death’s door” (Collins, 16). If ... ... middle of paper ... ...year people start to question the rules, fight the odds, and face death. It is a strange phenomenon that tributes or lottery “winners” have to endure, from battling to the death with someone the tributes could have known forever to killing your own mother with stones previously gathered by others. Every year rituals and ceremonies change, little by little traditions conform to what is thought to be socially acceptable but all it takes is the downfall of one generation for society to crumble which leaves me to question about: could this be my future? Works Cited Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic, 2008. Print. Institute, B. R. (2012). Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Christmas Collection: Christmas Collection. San Diego: Portable Press. Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." Introduction to Literature. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions, 2013. Print

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