The Lottery By Ursula K. Le Guin: A Literary Analysis

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The stories of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson and "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omeleas" by Ursula K. Le Guin depict societies that depend on scapegoats in order to maintain the ideal lifestyle. In the following analysis I will compare and contrast the conflicts scapegoats pose upon the society. The stories both carry the underlying theme of having a scapegoat; however the two stories differ in the character’s reaction. The two stories carry the same symbolic meaning: peace and harmony may be maintained within the community when there is a suffering scapegoat. The community achieves a form of relief by having the scapegoat symbolize the community's sin. Despite all sentiment among the people in both communities, there must be an innocent person who must suffer in order for the majority to be content. Therefore we are left to believe there is no such thing as a utopia. Although our initial thought at the beginning of each story was that the societies appeared to be a utopia. Both communities seem perfect in every aspect. Once the reader discovers the scapegoats, we realize…show more content…
For example in "The Ones Who Walk Away from to Omeleas" the society is forced to visit the child to witness the horrendous conditions it lives in. The author explains the child's presence enables them to continue their lives as it current is, "It is the existence of the child, and their knowledge of its existence, that makes possible the nobility of their architecture, the poignancy of their music, the profundity of their science." (Le Guin, 150). Similarly we can see the same principle happening in "The Lottery", the whole community participates in stoning the individual who has a black mark on the slip of paper. Both communities willingly acknowledge the notion of scarifying an innocent

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