The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin

Decent Essays

The short stories “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin have many similarities, despite their different societal settings. Both of the stories contain a false display of utopia, the following of traditions, and foul treatment. For example, in “The Lottery” every year a person’s name is drawn from a box and the “winner” is stoned to death, and the townsfolk are fine with it and keep coming back. And in “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” Omelas is described as being a perfect society where everyone is happy, but in order for the utopia to thrive a young child is being detained and tortured and the people of Omelas just let it happen because they think that is all they can do. Therefore, in both of the stories the authors are saying that harm can be done from people blindly following tradition and that perfect does not exist because there will always be some type of evil activity being conducted. Throughout both “The Lottery” and “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” an ideal world or utopia is portrayed. In the beginning of “The Lottery” the narrator describes what a beautiful summer day it is and how the village people are gathering to begin the lottery. The tone of the story is happy, content and quite joyful; even though the lottery is nothing to be excited about. The story even says that, “[the men] grinned at one another humorlessly and nervously” (Jackson 250). The townspeople see the lottery as a harmless

Get Access