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The Lottery vs the Most Dangerous Game

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We live in a civilization with countless people who are full of selfish ways. A world where it is easy for a man to cheat on his own wife because of lust in his heart; We inhabit a place where one can easily stab a lifelong friend in the back because of jealousy and envy, where one can easily steal from his own family because of greed. We are ever present in a self-centered, self-absorbed, narcissistic culture where ultimately, no one values human life or anything except themselves. Not only is it wrong but the question looms, will it ever changes? The two fictional short stories, “The Lottery” and “The Most Dangerous Game” both exhibit characteristics of selfishness, cruelty and violence toward ones fellowman. These writings hold great truths because they present what could be real life situations today. In comparing and contrasting the two we find how each of these fictional works displays the aforementioned themes and so much more. It is quite interesting to read about such behaviors and actually witness them now. The news stories we see, the people we encounter, the lives we live. What is their value? What about one of God’s Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not kill?” Life is by far the most precious gift that we have been given. The ability to feel emotions and empathize with our brothers and sisters has diminished, and it is my opinion that it will get worse. These are the times we should all stand together as God’s children, rather than turning on one another for selfish and evil reasons. “The Lottery” and “The Most Dangerous Game” show how quickly, how easily, we as humans devalue the live of another; how one person can turn on another in the blink of an eye.


Thesis Statement
I. “The Lottery & “The Most Dangerous Game”
II. What Does the Bible Say and Killing?
III. Conclusion

In comparing and contrasting Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game” at a glimpse they appear to be about exceedingly dissimilar subjects. “The Lottery” focuses on the tradition of following blindly, while “The Most Dangerous Game” is centered on hunting. These two fictional works collectively share the theme of showing lack of concern for ones fellow man. In the beginning the individuals involved in the story are depicted as regular people. However, as the stories progress, they are shown in another light. Both of these fictional works contain mutual themes in which they show that humans-beings having evil inclinations and that their values can be easily tainted. Both writers show us that discrimination and mercilessness in humanity can be acknowledged as a conventional conduct.
The narrator in “The Lottery” depicts the scenery as being nothing out of the ordinary. A day where the town’s people are gathering for what seems to be a typical social setting. While reading, one contemplates that the outcome will be positive, even based upon the title alone. However, when the story reaches a climax, the positive inclination instantly becomes negative because the winner of the lottery is supposed to be stoned to death. I believe Shirley Jackson’s objective was not only to show how quickly individuals can turn on one another, especially if it means saving their own behind but also to reveal how people feel obligated to go with things for traditions sake not taking into account the feelings of others. They do this for fear of becoming outcasts and because they are selfish and not selfless. “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." (pp. 254-255) This quote clearly reveals that Tessie Hutchinson is easily prepared to sacrifice her own family members to evade her on demise. “The Lottery” reveals how evil individuals can truly be without a second thought. It is enthralling and Jackson’s use of foreshadowing is also good. Jackson slowly makes it known that something is amiss when the lottery begins and the towns people begin to show uneasiness, and Jackson strengthens the feeling when Tessie uproariously disputes Bill’s selection. Another small piece of evidence is when she says that the villagers “still remembered to use stones.” (pp. 253) It is not until the moment after a rock hits Tessie that Jackson reveals everything. By initially leaving out certain facets until the right time, Jackson built the story right up the climatic and strong finale.
In further comparison of “The Lottery and “The Most Dangerous Game” we find that the individuals who are depicted as ordinary people, who appear to be participating in customary activities actually find 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.” (Classic Shorts,2014)
By General Zaroff challenging Rainsford to a game of cat and mouse or hunter verses prey Connell implies that instinctiveness and reasoning are not as common as people think. Initially, Connell distorts the separation between wits and sound decision making through Whitney who appeared in the beginning of the story. Whitney emphasized that animals 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.
People have been going back and forth about what is good and what is evil for thousands of years. I believe that being good is not only taught to us but it is God-like in every way. It is our job as God’s children to let good prevail over evil. Peter 3:8-18 gives a vivid account as to how we should carry ourselves. Killing your fellowman is wrong and if you take a human life, you should be put to death. In my opinion killing animals just for sport is wrong, however if it is used in sacrificial way (the blood of the lamb) to protect ones family or for nourishment is perfectly fine.
“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. However, what is most important to God is how we treat one another and we can start by being more selfless and less selfish.

References Connell, Richard. “The Most Dangerous Game” (2014) B & L Associates Bangor Maine, USA Retrieved from
Holy Bible NIV (2014)
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.” (2013) Literature. An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing pp.250-256…...

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