The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas And The Lottery

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In both short stories, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula Le Guin and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, there is an idea of sacrifice. The ideas of sacrifice in both stories compare but also contrast; someone is sacrificed for the happiness of the majority, but in each story happiness is achieved in different ways. In neither community does everyone necessarily agree with what is going on but they have to do what is best for everyone. In “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” the town chooses to sacrifice one child for the happiness of the whole community. There is no clear explanation on why or how the child is chosen, but the child is chosen for the greater good of the society. “They all know it is there, all of Omelas. Some of …show more content…

The town holds a “lottery” on the morning of June 27th every year to see who will be the sacrifice. All of the citizens are content with this tradition simply because that’s what it is, a tradition. They’ve all lived long enough to have never drawn the black dot so why would they now? They have seen many random and innocent members of their community become a scapegoat so the town can thrive in happiness, agriculture, and other aspects of life; who is to say they are next? Everyone is content with the idea of sacrifice for the well-being of the community, that is, until it is them who draws the black dot. Tessie Hutchinson even joked Bill Hutchinson about drawing his paper, “‘Get up there, Bill,’” Mrs. Hutchinson said, and the people near her laughed” (Jackson 4). Everyone around them even thought it was funny because what are the chances he would draw it, right? But when it was the Hutchinsons who had been picked it was not okay. “‘You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper her wanted, I saw you. It wasn’t fair!’” (Jackson 5). And ultimately when it was Tessie who had ended up with the black dot on her paper, it was deemed unfair by her. Everyone takes the same chance by participating but once any of them are picked to be stoned to death they see the wrong in the ceremony. “‘It isn’t fair, it isn’t right,” Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, then they were upon her” (Jackson …show more content…

For one, it is tradition in both short stories. It is never distinctly said why the child is locked away in Omelas, but it is known that it is to keep the city alive and the citizens happy. The same goes for the city in “The Lottery”. The tradition of picking one scapegoat to cleanse the town of evil is done to keep the community happy. The way each carries out their sacrifice is what differs. In Omelas one random, innocent child is picked to endure “abominable misery” (Le Guin 3). In “The Lottery” one random citizen is picked once a year to be stoned to death. They believe that using one person as a scapegoat is what keeps their community alive and thriving, even though it is stated that some cities have done away with the

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