Similarities Between The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas And The Lottery

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Individual suffering is evident in Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery”, a theme also taken up by author Ursula Le Guin in her story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”. The theme of an individual person taking on the responsibility of society to suffer for the rest of civilization to live in happiness is a similarity between the two short stories.The difference is the realization of why that one individual has to suffer. In both stories, the authors use a scapegoat for the happiness of their community. In Jackson’s short story, Tessie Hutchinson had to sacrifice her life for a tradition. “She held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. A stone hit her on the side of the head”(Jackson 630). In Le Guin’s story, …show more content…

In the Lottery, the townspeople aren’t aware the reason behind the stoning of an individual. Tessie Hutchinson screams, “It ain’t fair, it isn’t right”(Jackson 630). She believes its unfair for her to be stoned just because its a tradition and ritual. The lottery has been going on for awhile now but the logic for its existence is still unclear to them.They don’t understand the purpose, they just perform because its a “tradition”. This is a lot different in Le Guin’s short story. The townspeople of Omelas are mindful of the suffering of the innocent boy. “They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there. They all know that it has to be there”(Le Guin 817). The community is aware that freeing the boy will destroy the town’s happiness. This is why many people don’t intervene and save the suffering boys life. They go along with there daily lives like nothing is wrong because their afraid to place a burden on the cities happiness. In Omelas they realize what there doing and the purpose behind the suffering of an individual but in the Lottery they go by a tradition and don't understand the true meaning of

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