Essay on Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron and Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

Essay on Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron and Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

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Freedom is one of the many great qualities of life, but when it is taken away, life could turn out to be anything but great. Freedom to think, repent, and refuse should be incorporated in ones daily routine, but under an authoritarian dystopian society, these freedoms are only dreamt of. When society draws such attitudes and lifestyles upon its citizens, one adapts and accepts these requests, but not without a compromise. In Shirley Jackson’s masterpiece ‘The Lottery’ and Kurt Vonnegut’s exceptional story ‘Harrison Bergeron’, human life is so often sacrificed and withdrawn that is becomes a norm in society. Forcing people to agree with someone else’s ideology of harmony and success cannot be achieved without discarding the non-believers. Both dystopian societies possess excessive force on their civilians, with harsh consequences resulting in death. Traditional values and dictatorship laws forcefully overcome the mass population’s beliefs, resulting in obedience and respect to the laws of society. By comparing and contrasting the short story ‘The Lottery’ and ‘Harrison Bergeron’, it can be derived that these societies have strict rules and regulations, citizens of the society have become so adapted that they are afraid of change, and there is a severe lack of freedom.
The short story ‘The Lottery’ reveals a village of 300 that assemble for a lottery on June 27th every year. The lottery has been held this day for years and years, and has become a classic tradition. The lottery itself is holy to much of its residents, like Mr. Watson, who states that the village in the north is a pack of young crazy fools for removing the lottery. “Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanti...


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... story ‘Harrison Bergeron’, it can be derived that that these societies have strict rules and regulations, citizens of the society have become so adapted that they are afraid of change, and there is a severe lack of freedom. Both environments displayed uncivilized and inappropriate behavior, with innocent people being killed in front of their loved ones. What appeared to be an innocent tradition and harmless government turned out to be the perfect recipe for disaster.



Works Cited

Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. New York: The New Yorker, 1948. Print
Vonnegut, Kurt. Harrison Bergeron. New York: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, 1961. Print
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Harrison Bergeron.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 11 Jul. 2011.
SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Lottery.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2007. Web. 11 Jul. 2011.

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