English Essay

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In the “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Most Dangerous Game”, by Richard Connell we find a study of violence and death; caused by the savagery of humanity when reason and compassion give way to selfishness and unquestionable feudalism. Both authors use prose, tone and setting to articulate the darkest regions of humanity. Even though the settings differ greatly; one is post war era rural America and the other a deserted island. Both authors use setting and tone to effectively mislead the reader from a sense of safety to the surprise conclusion of each story. What could be more familiar than the beauty of a summer afternoon? Such is the introduction of “The Lottery”. “The morning of June 27th was clear and sunny , with the fresh warmth of a full summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green.” (Kennedy and Gioia 250) The reasder is transcended to perhaps a serene childhood memory. The setting is familiar and tranquil and then the author reveals that not all in this quaint town is what it might seem.” The children assembled first of course; the feeling of liberty sat uneasily on most of the them.” (Kennedy and Gioia 251) It seems at first that the setting is a quiet rural American town; perhaps a town festival of sorts or a summer solstice. One would gather any of these conclusions from the tone set forth by the author. Now a look at the “The Most Dangerous Game”, leads into a dark warm tropical night at sea. Two friends of sorts; are talking about an eminent great hunting expedition. In contrast to the “The Lottery” the tone is much darker the imagery is perhaps more ominous. In “The Most Dangerous Game” the character Rainsford “tries to peer through the dark tropical night that was palpable as it pressed its thick warm blackness in upon the yacht.” (Connell pg 1) He speaks about the hunting and the animals which will come

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