The Rocking Horse Winner and The Lottery Essay

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In both “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence and “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, the authors take critical aim at two staples of mainstream values, materialism and tradition respectively. Both authors approach these themes through several different literary devices such as personification and symbolism; however, it is the authors' use of characterization that most develop their themes. We'll be taking a look at the parallel passages in the stories that advance their themes particularly when those passages involve both of the authors' subtle character descriptions, and why this method of character development is so powerful in conveying the authors' messages. The only story in which an author employed personalization is “The…show more content…
His obsession, however, is made more evocative by what Lawrence doesn't tell us about him. Paul's mystique, which the author most frequently communicates through descriptions of Paul's eyes, serves to make him a more disturbing and, therefore, compelling figure. Yet, his altruistic motives help us as readers to view him as a victim, and, in turn, view that which killed him (obsession with material gain) as the villain. Shirley Jackson also utilizes literary devices to good effect in “The Lottery,” especially that of symbolism. By keeping the setting devoid of any identifying details, Jackson frees the reader to imagine that it could be any place. The only constraints that the author places on her readers’ creativity are that the town is decidedly rural, perhaps narrowing the critique to the cultural scene most frequently associated with small town America. Other symbols include the box from which the lottery slips are drawn (an old and black object which heralds death), stoning as a method of execution (a particularly old and excruciating way to kill someone), and ritual itself (a series of often ill contemplated actions for which one needs no particular reason to follow). All of these, with their marked reference to age, clearly refer to tradition. The real power in “The Lottery,”
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