Analysis Of 'The LotteryAndThe Rocking Horse Winner'

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In “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Rocking Horse Winner” by David Herbert Lawrence, character actions and dialogue reveal how not thinking critically on one’s beliefs and the actions that result from them can lead to tragedy for oneself and loved ones. In “The Lottery”, Jackson uses the character element to show how influential beliefs can be, and how the actions resulting from these can be unfortunate, making a lack of self-reflection dangerous. The danger of not pondering one’s actions is best illustrated through Bill Hutchinson, who “[goes] over to his wife and [forces] the slip of paper out of her hand” (Jackson 7) right as he realizes that she drew the marked paper. Knowing that Tessie Hutchinson drew the marked paper, the townsfolk’s and even Tessie’s own husband’s perception of her changes immediately: going from a well respected, albeit a bit different member of the community, to a person to be killed. Similarly, in “The Rocking Horse Winner”, Lawrence uses the character element to illustrate how a certain family’s habits with money, not luck as they say in the story, is the driving force behind their financial issues. The family’s failure to critically think about their lifestyle is ultimately devastating, leading to the untimely death of Paul. In the beginning of the story, Paul’s mom Hester tells him that “[Luck] is what causes you to have money” (Lawrence 3). Hearing this, throughout the rest of the story Paul is determined to become “lucky”. He is
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