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Comparing And Contrasting The Lottery And The Yellow Wallpaper

1341 words - 6 pages

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman are two very meaningful and fascinating stories. These stories share similarities in symbols and themes but they do not share the same plot which makes it different from one another. Furthermore, “The lottery” was held in New England village where 300 people were living in that village. This event took place every once a year. Besides, the story begins where on one beautiful morning, everyone in that village gathered to celebrate the lottery. The surroundings were such that children were gathering stones while adults were chatting with each other. It was compulsory for every head of family or ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, as can be seen at the end of this story, where this woman goes completely insane and made John faint when he went into the room and saw what she had done.
In both stories, there were many similarities in literary device such as themes. In “The Lottery”, Jackson indirectly mentions that women are lower class compared to men in the village. This could be seen in leadership roles where men were given the opportunity to choose the slip of the paper. Furthermore, Jackson implied in her short story that the winner of this event possessed qualities where the villagers thought it is less desirable and it is more like a social scapegoat. For example, Mrs. Summers was one of the victims who did not have good work ethic. The villagers felt sorry for Mr. Summers because he h no other family member. The women in this story pretty much had low work ethic as described by the author. Here, the same theme subordination of women in terms of marriage applies in “The Yellow Wallpaper”. John, husband of the narrator is the head of household and he decides what is going to be done. This made the narrator to have no say in even her smallest details of her life, and she retreats into her obsessive fantasy, the only place she can retain some exercise and control the power of her mind. (2008).
There was difference in themes as well in these two stories such as the importance of self expression. This was found in “The Yellow Wallpaper” but not in “The Lottery”. For example, the female narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is mentally affected which leads her to go insane because her husband restricts her from the outside world. In addition, since the narrator was forbidden to read and write, therefore she hid all her feeling of depression within her journal in order to show her feelings externally that she is happy life and marriage. (2008). On the other hand, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson had themes based on tradition and customs. The lottery event was a very cruel and violent event participated by the villagers every year. Furthermore, the villagers fear change to occur and continued to participate in this event because of their strong beliefs in their traditions even though the end result was death. Besides, violence and cruelty was another theme that was present in “The Lottery” and not in “the Yellow Wallpaper”. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, John was cruel to his wife in the sense that in the way he treated his wife and restricted her from going anywhere but the lottery event was much more violent. However, there were many difference and similarities in terms of symbolism. First symbol that will be discussed is in terms of the color used in these two stories. “The lottery” has a black color appearance because this color represents evil, which represented the corrupted forces of control perpetuating the event that took place in the...

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