Analysis of Comparing “The Lottery” and “The Most Dangerous Game” In comparing and contrasting Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game” at a view they appear to talk about two different subjects. “The Lottery” focuses on tradition, while “The Most Dangerous Game” focuses on hunting.
The tradition in the short story “ The Lottery” is a small community that continues to follow their cruel ways , where each person has to draw a slip of paper, knowing the risk of being stoned to death by their family, friends, and neighbors if they draw the slip with the black spot on it. The tradition in “The Most Dangerous Game” General Zaroff who’s created a game where he hunts human beings, because he got bored with hunting animal prey.
General Zaroff thinks that humans are no longer humans and that they are preys. These two fictional stories share the theme of showing lack of concern for one’s fellow men. In the beginning, the individuals of the story are shown as regular people. However, as the stories continue it is in another way. Both of these fictional, stories contain shared themes in which they show that humans having and show their evil ways. Both writers show us that mercilessness, violence, and cruelty in humanity can be acknowledged as accepted standards of behavior. The narrator in “The Lottery” shows the settings as only being a normal day. A day where the town’s people are gathering for a social event.
While reading, one person could make the argument that the outcome most likely will be positive, one person could think that the story is a positive story with the title alone. However, when the story reaches a dramatic turning point , the positive feeling instantly becomes negative because the winner of the lottery, Tessie Hutchinson, is stoned to death. Shirley Jackson’s, point was not only to show how fast someone can turn on one another, but it also reveals how people go with things for tradition’s sake not considering the feelings of others. People do this for fear of being outcasts and because they are selfish and not selfless. An example of people being outcasts and selfish is “There’s Don and Eva,” Mrs. Hutchinson yelled.
“Make them take their chance!” “Daughters draw with their husbands’ families, Tessie,” Mr. Summers said gently. “You know that as well as anyone else.” (Jackson 241). This quote clearly reveals that Tessie Hutchinson is easily prepared to sacrifice her family members to evade her on demise. According to Thomas Dubose, “Having recently vanquished a cruel and inhumane enemy, perhaps Americans were not ready for a story that implied that they themselves could be cruel and inhumane.”(Dubose).
“The Lottery” also reveals how evil people could truly be without a second thought. It is interesting. Shirley Jackson makes it well-known when the lottery begins, and the town’s people start to have anxiety , when Tessie gets mad and tells Mr. Summer “ I think we ought to start over”(Jackson 241). Tessie said, as quietly as she could “ I tell you it wasn’t fair. You didn’t give him time enough to choose. Everybody saw that.”(Jackson 241). The narrator Shirley Jackson also says that the villagers still remembered to use stones.It is not until the final moment after the villagers started to stone Tessie that Jackson reveals everything. At first leaving out certain details until the right time, Jackson built the story right up, the top to have a very strong and brutal ending.
According to Ismael Zaid, Jackson exposes man’s instinctive tendency for violence and bloodshed: “although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones”( Zaid 28 ). In a deeper comparison of “The Lottery and “The Most Dangerous Game” we find that some people who are shown as ordinary people, who appear to participate in very bad activities finding pleasure in killing. “In the Most Dangerous Game”, humans are preyed upon as if they were wild animals because humans provided more of a challenge for General Zaroff. “I wanted an ideal animal to hunt,” explained the general. “So I said: ‘What are the attributes of an ideal quarry?’ And the answer was of course: ‘It must have courage, cunning, and, above all, it must be able to reason.” (Conell Classic Shorts, 2014). General Zaroff was challenging Rainsford to a game of hunter verses prey and Connell implies that fear and reasoning are not as common as people think.
Initially, Connell pulls the separation between wits and sound decision making through Whitney who appeared in the beginning of the story. Whitney gave special treatment to animals who are automatically scared, and the same fear came about in Whitney when it made it known that Captain Neilson’s description of the island made him uncomfortable. Some people have been going back and forth about what is good and what is evil for thousands of years. Some believe’s believe that being good is not only taught to us but it is living a good christian live in every way. It is every believer job to let good prevail over evil. Killing your fellow men is wrong and if you take a human life, you should be put to death. Some people believe killing animals just for sport is wrong; however, if it is done in a sacrificial way to protect one’s family or for food it is fine. Both writers show us that mercilessness, violence, and cruetly in humanity can be acknowledged as accepted standards of behavior.
“The Lottery” and “The Most Dangerous Game” really makes one think that fictional writing can come across as being all too real because there are so many elements included that we can apply to the present era. The things that are the most important to some humans is how we treat one another and we can start by being more selfless and less selfish.
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