The Lottery and The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas are two short stories, written by different authors. The similarities between the two are scarce but the impact of each story is very profound. The Lottery is a short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas was published in 1973 by Ursula K. Le Guin. The Lottery is a short story that is not typically read by the average person, while The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is a very popular classic of literature, studied in many High Schools and Colleges across the United States.
Both stories have been acclaimed for their profound impact on readers and effect on society as a whole. Each author has written at least one novel or collection of essays but The Lottery and The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas are their more widely known works. The Lottery was written during an era where many writers were discussing social concerns or topics like World War II (WWII) and the Holocaust; Shirley Jackson was one of many authors that included these issues into their literature.
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is written by one of the most well-known feminist science fiction writers in history. Ursula K. Le Guin was known for writing books with strong female protagonists and her social commentary may be found in many novels written by this author; The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas may be an example of this tendency. These stories seem to share little in common but both are examples of literary fiction with important messages about society, presenting questions about morality, modernity, classism, morals, family dynamics, conformity, oppression, human nature and more!
The Lottery is a short story set in a small village where the people are preparing for a yearly tradition known as “The Lottery. ” The protagonist is an unnamed villager that has participated in the lottery since childhood. Every participant walks to the square and grabs a piece of paper with their name printed on it then everyone returns home. This continues until there is only one person left without a slip of paper; this remaining individual must draw another piece of paper, resulting in two names being chosen by fate.
Once these names are chosen all the slips of paper are burned ceremoniously, signifying how “The Lottery” controls everything about life in this village. The story ends describing what will happen to those who are picked by fate both good or bad, but it allows the reader to infer that The Lottery controls everything about these people’s lives. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is a much shorter story that is written in the form of an essay.
The fictional town of Omelas is presented as a utopia, where everyone is happy and carefree, but this happiness depends on one thing, one individual that must live alone in the basement of the city hall building. No one from the town of Omelas ever goes down to this basement because they are taught since childhood not to go near it. To make sure this child does not leave or escape they are deprived of any type of comfort or interaction with anyone else; only rats provide solace for this human prisoner.
One day a stranger appears in the town of Omelas who is intrigued by all the happiness and decides to find out why this one child is being deprived of everything. The stranger soon discovers that the happiness of everyone depends on this child’s imprisonment. If they let him free, then all the people will become unhappy and discontent with their lives. The Lottery is a short story that seems to be set in a dystopian or post-apocalyptic society where everyone has lost their memories about life before The Lottery.
It also paints a picture of people who have no knowledge of what life was like before so they continue participating in “The Lottery” because it is tradition or simply what each new generation does. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is a story about oppression, specifically how one human being can be oppressed by an entire society. The town of Omelas is described as a utopia with everyone living free and happily, but this is because of the suffering of one child that no one has ever seen or even interacts with.
There are also some characteristics that resemble life in “a communist state;” for example, everyone in Omelas works together to keep their city perfect without any type of conflict between citizens. Though these two stories have similar messages about society they are written very differently. They both have strong messages on societal norms, conformity, individualism vs. community efforts, justice/injustice and more! One major difference is the fact that The Lottery is written in third person omniscient, while The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is written in first person.
The Lottery also has a lot more symbolism than the latter story. The protagonist of this story is never named and doesn’t have direct contact with any other character outside of his village. This makes the people of the town the true protagonist because they are being oppressed by “The Lottery” just as much as the unnamed protagonist is being oppressed by their society. On the contrary, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas truly focuses on one individual who interacts with every other character in the entire town, even though many other characters are also deprived of comforts or material things.
The minor character of the child in the basement is the center of focus, which distinguishes this story from others that are written in first person because they only focus on the individual experience of one single person. The Lottery is a short story that was published for the first time in 1948 by Shirley Jackson, an American writer born in San Francisco, California in 1916 and died in her sleep at age 48 on August 8th, 1965 . She was best known for her compelling fiction writings especially ones with psychological undertones or dark humor.