Analzying Contrasting 2 Short Stories … Essay
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¶ … Lottery and the Destructors
The two stories have peaceful starts, but both of them develop to distressing circumstances, which result in hurting some people and bringing joy to others. The rituals that make up the Lottery by Shirley Jackson, bring about a lot of tension. Some people see the rituals as timeless and valuable, while others see them as outdated, having been put aside by the communities around them. The lottery thus goes on in spite of the fact that its meaning has been lost as the people are too fearful to put it aside. The result of this is that the ritual becomes clumsy without the box having a specific revered place in the village, so that it is carried around without any meaningful words being chanted. This lack of reverence and meaning has caused an old man to regret that the ritual is not done as it was before. He is the oldest man in the place. This ritual can only be seen as following traditions, which out of fear, must be carried out, and the people are ready to defend this tradition even to the extent of being violent. It is not about values, but keeping traditions. This is a comparison and contrast of the stories "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson and "The Destructors" by Graham Greene.
The Historical Setting of the Books
The character Paul finds a means of earning money. Trevor is not intent on developing himself thus he and the gang burn the money up.
Paul is looking to improve the welfare of his family, unlike Trevor who is working to keep everyone at the same level.
In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, there is use of suspense and plot characterization to bring out the themes. This creates an understanding of society and its inhabitants.
There are contrasts that can be observed in the characters in terms of their values, feelings and even what drives them. The Destructors has dark themes and looks at the world as a grim place with the existence of evil.
Conflict/Plot/Structure, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
A sense of freedom can be felt at the beginning of the story when the school children are out and people begin to gather at the village square in order to hold the lottery. The reward for the lottery is not made known throughout the narrative. The atmosphere is about unveilings in the future as it was in the early days of the ritual. The mystery of the situation carries on to the climax when the winner is unveiled, though some questions still remain unanswered. The nature of the prize raises questions, especially as the winner is not happy about being chosen for it. This lends to the mystery and conflict of the story.
Conflict/Plot/Structure "The Destructors" by Graham Greene
The story is set in the period after the war in Britain and highlights the hardships experienced after the war. There is a revelation of the mind of Blackie while that of T is a closed book. The book is in third person narrative and the narrator does not show any bias or seek to hide the hard truths about the characters. T does things that can be described as wicked, given what he has destroyed. The author does not give an explanation for this character that is unfeeling, unreachable and even unforgiving. T is seen reacting to Old Misery with "the fury of a child." He brings to the gang a coldness that is calculating and bent on destruction. The boys of his gang were previously only up to mischief. They would sometimes try to get free rides on the government transport. However, T is intent on achieving an end rather than fun. He seems to have no innocence and quickly takes it away from the other boys. He plans to destroy the house of Mr. Thomas for no other reason than it being a thing of beauty. He is intent on the job being done in such a way that there is nothing that will be of value when the gang is done. He robs the group of the opportunity to learn. He, however, is not described as evil, and one can only guess the cause of this trait, which the author does not offer. T is conflicted as he is seen as having never experienced either love or hate, and this only leads him to destroy that which is of value. The picture gives a negative world view, which is accentuated by the fact that the neighborhood had been bombed in the war (The Destructors 3).
Characterization in "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
Bill Hutchinson is the person who drew the ticket, which was dotted in black when the males were tasked with drawing for the families.
Tessie is the wife of Bill Hutchinson who had to do her dishes before leaving her house for the Lottery thus arriving late. She is seen as not really valuing the ritual, as she is late for it, but she is also an eager spectator.
Old Man, Warner, has seen 77 lotteries, being that he is the oldest in the village. He does not like change. Old Man, Warner, believes in the lottery without a question as he sees the end of it dooming the town to a period when conditions in it were not good.
Mr. Summers is the man who runs the events of the village, including dances and the Lottery, which he directs just as he does other activities. He does not protest as his wife does and is quite okay with the Lottery tradition.
The villagers also believe that the lottery has a hand in the grass that is deep green, the flowers that blossom so well and the fertile ground, which allows the corn to grow. Thus, the people would rather go through the unsavory tradition than do away with it. They are not willing to take a chance and see what would happen were they to keep from performing the tradition for a year.
The characters are all in traditional family groups, involving a mother, a father and children. It is what can be seen as a secure and good social place. However, as the real meaning of the Lottery is revealed, the security vanishes as a grim practice, which requires a person to be stoned. The character of some people comes out clearly when they show their willingness to participate in this ritual, such as Mrs. Delacroix and the boys. Old Man Warner is adamant that the ritual be upheld. The story is seen as symbolic of the violence that society upholds. Betrayal is seen as Mrs. Delacroix shows her willingness to stone her former friend. Hypocrisy comes out when Tess looks forward to the ritual, but is not willing to be itsvictim (Jackson 2).
Characterization in "The Destructors" by Graham Greene
The character in The Destructors include Blackie. He is the leader of the group and one who values the togetherness of the group as well as justice. He is, however, seen as colorless as he does not commit to the destruction of the house or offer contrary opinions. He is seen as suspicious of anything that comes from the upper class.
Driver is the character who pulls out and causes the house which was destroyed, to fall.
Joe is a character who is part of the gang.
Old Misery/Mr. Thomas is the character who does not know what the boys are about. Mr. Thomas is the stock character who values peace as well as beauty.
Trevor or T comes in as the leader of the gang. Trevor is seen as the protagonist in the story. He is a character who is described throughout the story through his actions, and he does not change his style. His inner conflict does not get resolved even though he achieves his plans of destroying the home of Mr. Thomas.
The antagonist in the story is an object, which is the house as it stands against T. The house was not destroyed by the bombing during the war and it forms the plot. It belongs to Mr. Thomas and it has survived for 200 years (Greene 3).
Complication- Trevor reveals his plans to destroy the house and its items in such a way that none of it can be used again for the simple reason that the house is beautiful.
Climax- this is reached at the point where the gang is destroying the house systematically to ensure that the job is carried out completely. This signifies to the reader that the plan will be successful.
Denouement- This is signified by the return of Mr. Thomas who is put in his outhouse while the gang continues destroying his home. Nevertheless, the conflict that Trevor experiences within himself still remains (Greene, 2).
Jackson, Shirley. "Tools of Characterization in The Lottery." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 2008. Web. 25 Jan. 2016.
"The destructors." Our… [END OF PREVIEW]
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