“The Lottery” Comparative Analysis Essay

Killing is a concept that goes back to the beginning of time, continues today and will always be. For thousands of years, senseless killings have plagued the earth and destroyed countless lives. It is showed in our literature and in our movies and sadly, in our everyday lives. All you need to do is read or watch the news on any given day and you will see it.

In the story “The Lottery”, by Shirley Jackson, the townspeople gather one afternoon, all carrying stones, and it is only after the story progresses, that the reader discovers they will be using those rocks to stone to death one of the people amongst them.

The killing is senseless and inhumane. Though the United States is a country that follows civilized rules and laws, it is also a country where people choose to disregard those rules and laws and killing happens all too often. One such example was the Boston Marathon Terror Attack in 2013.

Innocent people watching the annual race were killed by a bomb that was intentionally set off by Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The deadly explosion killed three people and injured 264 people (CNN 1). This horrible event and the killing in “The Lottery” are both frightening examples of the potential of human behavior on any generation. “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny” (Collections 25). Shirley Jackson does not mention the date to indicate that terrible events like the lottery could happen at any given time. Both of these events show how violent human behavior spans generations and is just unfortunately part of the world.

In the Boston Marathon Terror Attack, people were peacefully running a marathon, and in “The Lottery”, people were just acting like it was any other day, including Tessie. However, when she found out she was chosen to be stoned to death, she said that it wasn’t fair. “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” (Collections 34). Tessie realized how sickening human behavior could be when she was the one getting stoned.

The innocent runners at the marathon and Tessie, the character in Lottery are relatable because of how pointless and terrible both deaths were. The 3 people killed and 264 injured from the terror attack were innocent, just as Tessie was in “The Lottery”. The villagers in “The Lottery” casually stoned Tessie to death and then simply moved on with their lives. “‘All right, folks’ Mr. Summers said. ‘Let’s finish quickly’” (Collections 34). This quote shows how careless, thoughtless and desensitized to killing our society can be.

In conclusion, human behavior will always have defects and will never be perfect. In today’s world, there are still terrible things going on, like the Boston Marathon Terror Attack, and the stoning of Tessie in “The Lottery”. Interestingly, Shirley Jackson did not put a year on when “The Lottery” takes place so that she could show how horrible things like that are timeless and still happen today.

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