Instructor Date Even though both Chris Abani’s and Shirley Jackson’s story appear to bear certain distinct similarities especially in view of the fact that they used “Lottery” in the titles, it is worth noting that they wrote about radically different social backgrounds and time settings…
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This paper will critically examine the underlying similarities and differences between the two short stories both entitled the lottery paying attention to the thematic stylistic and contextual elements of both. The society about which Abani writes is motivated by economic and political instability which results to the development of a culture of violence and suspicion owing to the historical injustices and persecution of the people by organs of the state. In Jackson’s case, her work is a social commentary is directed towards morality as opposed to real political or social events. Furthermore, her story is a commentary about the societal failures and collective folly and community sanctioned injustice which often results in the destruction of lives families and societies at large; as such purely allegorical. She particularly satirizes the intensity with which the community believes in the importance of the lottery their contempt for those who have discontinued it evident when the “Old Man Warner snorted.” Pack of crazy fools," he said. "Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them” (Jackson 4). ...
Both writers have symbolically used the juxtaposition between the title and the context creating and element of anti-climax since from reading the title; the “lottery” one will expect the story to involve an element of the convectional lottery. Normally, individuals win money/prizes or in the least that the lottery should imply something good for the “winner” owing to the universal positivity attributed to the word. Abani’s lottery is marginally more removed from the convectional context in that his story is focused on a victim of mob justice who does not in any way, to the best of the narrators, automatically the reader’s knowledge play a part in the game except as the victim. Before one reaches the climax of the story, Jackson’s lottery appears to be a convectional lottery until the winner is announced and the prize is revealed and it turns out to be just a gruesome masquerade of a lottery as was the case in the previous story. Both stories also exemplify a culture of immorality and savagery since the characters kill their own for no discernible reasons yet deign to justify the murders to an extent that they are elevated to the status of sacrifice for communal wellbeing or didactic experiences, for children. This is evident when it is stated, “Bring the children forward so they can learn” (Abani 3). The suspect is killed by the community and this reflects the dysfunction within it, since from no perspective, be it legal or moral did he deserve such a brutal death. In Jackson’s lottery, the villagers have to select an individual family and then from it an individual would be selected and killed in what Abani would describe as mob justice.
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