Preventing Mistakes in The Lottery and Hills like White Elephants Essay example

Preventing Mistakes in The Lottery and Hills like White Elephants Essay example

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Humans will always make mistakes. It is important that we learn from them and avoid making more in the future. In The Lottery, an old town tradition forces the town residents to sacrifice the person whose name is chosen from the black box. In Hills like White Elephants, a man and his wife discuss whether or not the woman should get an abortion. Both of these short stories lead to the idea that old traditions aren’t always right. Was bringing Africans to America to be slaves a just policy? Was kicking Indians off of their homeland to walk the Trail of Tears right? Both The Lottery and Hills like White Elephants look at some of man’s wrongs and present some solutions on how to fix them.
In The Lottery, a black box chooses who will be sacrificed each year in order to ensure a good harvest for the unnamed town. The residents stoned Tessie Hutchinson to death because she demonstrated undesirable traits that made her an outlier from the rest of the group. The reader could easily identify Mrs. Hutchinson as an outlier as soon as she entered the story. “Just as Mr. Summers finally left off talking and turned to the assembled villagers, Mrs. Hutchinson came hurriedly along the path to the square, her sweater thrown over her shoulders, and slid into place in the back of the crowd. "Clean forgot what day it was," she said to Mrs. Delacroix” (4). She was late to the Lottery, complained way too much, and cried out in injustice after she had won. Shirley Jackson’s purpose of writing the short story was to question the legitimacy of the old traditions. The secondary question that the story addresses deals with Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest. In his theory, Darwin said that the strongest and most fit animals would survive bec...


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...lls like White Elephants was to give light to the ensuing issue of abortion. Policemen don’t shoot first and ask questions later, they make sure they are doing the right thing before carrying out the procedure. Parents should do the same. The title of this short story is unique and can only be understood after reading the story. The white elephants mentioned in the title refer to possessions, which are usually gifts that are expensive and hard to get rid of. In this case, the white elephant is the unborn baby.
Just because all of your friends traditionally egg your math teacher’s house on Halloween night, doesn’t mean that you should too. Both Shirley Jackson and Ernest Hemingway do not believe in the practice of old traditions that don’t make sense. It is just like Gracie McGarvie said, “Tradition is an explanation for acting without thinking.”

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