In Jackson’s story, a small town practices a strange and violent tradition. What immediately strikes you is that this gathering is held. “The people of the village began to gather in the square, between the post office and the bank, around ten o’clock; in some towns there were so many people the lottery took two days and had started on June 26th, but in this village, where there were only about three hundred people, and the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o’clock in morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner” (Kennedy and Gioia, 2013, pp. 251). The villagers are portrayed as normal people gathering, extending their hands in friendly and warm communication.
Tessie Hutchinson shares and enjoys this ritual event. It was only when she “won” the lottery that she developed bias and judgment. Tessie protests the process of the lottery and the town’s methods, “It isn’t fair, it...
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... then I’m absolutely sure—oh, absolutely! Mother, did I ever tell you? I am lucky!” (Kennedy and Gioia, 2013, pp. 245) Even after Paul’s mother is gazed in fear and amazement, her desires are never satisfied.
In conclusion, both short stories share sacrifices of each protagonist and their views of their deaths are different in merit. The Lottery is a blind and bloody tradition and The Rocking Horse Winner is more of about death and a woman’s materialism desires, the love of money. Yes, each story presents different circumstances, but death of each protagonist has made the story more dramatic and emotional charged.
Kennedy, X. J., and Gioia, D. (2013). Symbol. In J. Terry, K. Glynn and D. Campion (Eds.), Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing (7 ed., pp. 234-245; pp. 250-256). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education
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