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The Obedience to Authority - Essay Example

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This essay analyzes how following authority produces evil. Obedience to authority results in evil in the stories “The Lottery” and “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas,” because of an appearance of a convention, cowardice, and ordinariness of violence…
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The Obedience to Authority
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Download file to see previous pages In “The Lottery,” Old Man Warner stresses that the lottery cannot be removed, simply because it has always been done: “There's always been a lottery” (Jackson). Furthermore, he emphasizes the saying: “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon” (Jackson). It does not matter if this ritual results in the suffering of one person since the society focus on its “positive” outcomes. In "The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas,” people believe that in order to maintain the joy and wealth of Omelas, they have to preserve a “child's abominable misery” (LeGuin). Omelas has made it a law to never let the child out because it will result in the loss of “prosperity and beauty and delight” of Omelas (LeGuin). Some residents feel the injustice of this law, but the majority follows its law nonetheless.
Simply obeying authority is a form of cowardice, which results in evil too. Some people in “The Lottery” consider scrapping this tradition, but they do so in “suggestive” tones. Mrs. Adams says: “Some places have already quit lotteries” (Jackson). No one among the people, nevertheless, boldly calls for the eradication of this bloody and senseless ritual. They all participate, even when they feel uncomfortable about it. For instance, the niceties are all forced, such as when Mr. Summers and Mr. Adams “grinned at one another humorlessly...” (Jackson). There is also cowardice in how people in Omelas uphold a child's misery. They rationalize the co-existence of their happiness and individuals suffering: “They all know that it has to be there” (LeGuin). They think this way to free themselves from guilt. Rationalization is a coward way out of his/her conscience.
People follow authority, even when it results in violence because violence has become too commonplace that no one questions its morality anymore. Children and adults alike participate in the violence of the lottery, as part of their “numbing, commonplace everyday activity” (Breakthrough Writer).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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