Lottery and Games Comparing and Contrasting Thesis

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Lottery and Games

Comparing and Contrasting "The Lottery" with the Hunger Games

While both Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" and the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' the Hunger Games address issues of institutionalized moral depravity, Jackson's short story is better read as an inverted representation of Christ's command, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," rather than as a glimpse of the sort of dystopian world the Hunger Games represents. The Hunger Games offers a sense of moral order through the character of Katniss, which barely surfaces in Jackson's tale. Jackson's "Lottery," after all, is more akin to a work of shocking satire than to an adventure story in which heroes and heroines overcome obstacles, character arcs are developed, and conflicts are resolved. This paper will compare and contrast the nature of the Hunger Games with Jackson's "The Lottery" and show how the former attempts to explore in epic style a dystopian world riddled with amorality, while the latter simply means to expose a disturbing truth at the heart of society -- namely, that it is anti-Christian in practice.Download full
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TOPIC: Thesis on Lottery and Games Comparing and Contrasting "The Assignment

The biggest way in which Jackson's "Lottery" is different from Collins' Games is in the fact that Jackson's setting is never named: it is merely a village, unspecified and accepted by the reader on its own simple terms. Collins' Games on the other hand is set in a very detailed futuristic world known as Panem, once known as the United States of America. The Hunger Games, therefore, is situated in a real place in real time. Its parameters are set and defined: it is given a backstory, a history of its own, a foundation upon which characters can be built, and an overall theme that might measure up to the demands of the epic narrative. The Hunger Games film is the first of what looks to at least a trilogy. The enormity of the work allows it to develop conflict and move toward resolution while exploring themes like hope vs. despair and chance vs. free will. Even though such themes might be found in diminished form in Jackson's "Lottery" they are nowhere near as developed as in the Hunger Games. Jackson's "Lottery," on the contrary, limits itself to a single occurrence -- a day in the life of the citizens of a village that has institutionalized the act of throwing stones. While no reference is made in the short story to the edict of Christ found in Scripture, the parallel is obvious: Mrs. Hutchinson has thrown stones (or judged others, as the symbol of throwing stones may be understood) and now is stoned by others (or rather receives her reward/punishment). The fact that the characters partake in this lottery of their own free will only adds to the irony of the narrative: these villagers act to their own disadvantage, knowingly and willingly, and yet see little reason to stop. The complaint of Mrs. Hutchinson at the end of the story, "It isn't fair," shows just how ridiculous she is: the lottery seemed perfectly fair before -- when she was winning. It is an obvious commentary by Jackson on society's willingness to judge others, throw stones, and have judgment passed on themselves -- when all people really need do is abstain from judgment and be spared judgment themselves.

Another way in which the two works are different is in the fact that the Hunger Games has a dynamic heroine named Katniss, while "The Lottery" has no real hero or heroine. Katniss in the Hunger Games represents the kind of Christian heroic ethic of self-sacrifice that, in fact, is missing from "The Lottery." Katniss saves her sister by volunteering herself in her sister's place. It is an enormous act of courage and charity on her part. Such action is completely missing from Jackson's satire -- and for good reason. Jackson has not written a story that commends man's good deeds but rather indicts society for its hypocritical practices. The Hunger Games, on the other hand, extols… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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