The Babylon Lottery Analysis

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The Future of an Illusion and “The Babylon Lottery” When humanity creates a system it may be for the purpose of gratifying one’s instinctual desires or for controlling one’s rather barbaric tendencies. The occurrence of events beyond an individual’s control is often determined by a higher supernatural power. In “The Babylon Lottery” by Jorge Luis Borges, the narrator introduces us to a capricious lottery that dictates the life chances of those living in Babylon. This lottery transitions in its rules and punishments because of the demands and desires from those that seek its amusement. The lottery is said to be an institution that is imperfect and done in secret. This world that the Babylonians live in is therefore, governed by contingency.…show more content…
In The Future of an Illusion since civilization inevitably introduces dilemma, the creation of religion helps compensate individuals for their renunciations. Freud states that, . It is through the objects attained through wealth that one can satisfy one’s instinctual desires. Civilization is needed for protection but its interference in allowing humans to act on their instincts frustrates them. Civilization prohibits the total satisfaction of individuals but it is a necessity to ensure protection. Therefore, the development of religion emphasizes the attainment of wealth and satisfaction of one’s instinctual drives which moves from the “material to mental”. The transition to the mental aspect has to do with civilization using religion in helping to reinforce the super-ego. That is why the issue with civilization isn’t necessarily the distribution of wealth but the controlling of one’s desires. In “The Babylon Lottery,” the lottery was what appealed to the faculties of men when reward and penalty were both in effect. It became a sort of an obsession almost. The narrator states that, (Borges 67). The people of Babylon almost always opt for the most logical alternative and when they comprehended that the lottery was equating one’s freedom with monetary gains it made no sense to them. As a result, the lottery was no longer a game, but rather a new order in which the…show more content…
Freud voices his opinion when he says, Freud 717). Freud challenges the existence of religion and says it is an illusion because he is more inclined to believing in scientific reason. Religion is more subjective whereas, science is more objective. That is why Freud says that religion appeals to our wish fulfillment. He says that illusions aren’t false when he uses the example of a middle-class girl having an illusion of a prince marrying her and he points out the fact that it is possible but unlikely. Freud is trying to say that the heavenly father is nothing but an illusion. To Freud religion is an “invented illusion” and science is insusceptible to illusion. Therefore, we are presented with an “expression of faith –or, rather, unfaith” when presented with the idea of “religious illusion”. There is a point where Borges reveals to readers that, (Borges 71-72). The lottery of Babylon is known to be a society that functions in secret and is absolute in authority. The Company is a figure of chance but chance is an inexorable component of life and that is why the idea of the company might seem too complex for the people of Babylon to comprehend. The lottery is an arbitrary system that has no providential logic which ties it to a kind of anti-fate. Freud presents to his readers the possibility of religion being and illusion and similarly Borges does the

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