Conformity in The Lottery, The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas and The Namesake

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To stand firm in ones beliefs is a difficult task. It takes a strong-minded person with boldness to stand for what he or she believes in. The possible consequence for doing so is isolation, humiliation or the success of changing ones view. Given that standing up for oneself makes the person vulnerable, out of fear, many suppress their ideas and settle for the beliefs of others. In The Lottery, The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas and The Namesake, the characters struggled with the decision to conform to society or go against social norms to defend their morals.

In The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, the people of the village are consumed by a tradition. Every year in the month of June, they conduct a lottery to determine who will be …show more content…

Once an individual has been molded by society, it is very hard to change their behavior. Despite being in a society that undermines women, Tessie speaks against the lottery and as a result is stoned to death. In the story, The Ones That Walked Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin, the happiness of a city was depended on the suffering of one child. Le Guin writes, “they all know it [the child] is there…some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness…depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery” (360). With this in mind, some people would accept the way of the city and some would leave. The people that walked away from the city had sympathy for the child and also understood that possibly freeing the child from captivity would cost the city and its people to lose its beauty and happiness. Yes, releasing the child would allow him or her to gain temporarily relief, but is it worth it? Once the child is freed, poverty, heartache, disease, crime and other negative agents would begin to engulf the city. Being that the child has already suffered, being free would be no different and he or she would endure the same hardships as they previously did in captivity. Knowing that giving the child freedom is unlikely to be successful, the select few leave Omelas. By walking away from the city, the individuals were no longer participating in the suffering of the child.

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