English 102 Fiction Essay

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The Pursuit of Passions ENGL 102: Composition and Literature Fall D 2014 Nicholas Pampaloni, L2366120 MLA Outline THESIS: The themes of Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery” and D.H. Lawrence’s, “The Rocking-Horse Winner” demonstrate a very powerful and sinister aspect of fallen human nature. The characters in both of these stories are driven to what many would describe as insanity in the pursuit of a passion. Ultimately, these pursuits end in unimaginable tragedy and pain. I. The townspeople in “The Lottery” and the family members in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” are caught up in their passions. A. Paul is pursuing answers as a way to earn money and become lucky. B. The townspeople are pursuing an ancient tradition, no…show more content…
Passions drive people, and the townspeople in “The Lottery” and Paul in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” are no different. Each of the members of the unnamed town has a strong passion for tradition. The original black box used for the lottery is described as being, “lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town, was born” (Jackson 251). This sentence gives the reader an understanding that the lottery is an ancient tradition that has become an integral part of the town’s lifestyle. Such a tradition can only be carried on for this length of time if the people are passionate about preserving the tradition. Paul had a passion to be wealthy as a way to prove to his mother that he was lucky. From a young age, he saw that his family always wanted more money to support a better lifestyle, yet there never seemed to be enough. After learning from his mother that being lucky was the key to having money, he resolved to prove to her that he was lucky by earning money through betting on horses. Although these passions may seem benign, the reader soon discovers the effects these passions have on the characters. As humans begin to pursue their passions, there often comes a time when that pursuit becomes detrimental to their life. This is true in the cases of the characters in these stories. As Paul

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