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Besides, reading the short story The Lottery, the reader gets entrapped in the simple narration, which rapidly transforms into an imaginary society which blindly believes in human sacrifice. On the other side, the short Young Goodman Brown portrays the internal conflicts faced by an individual who is in between duty/ love towards one’s wife and one’s personal belief. Thesis statement: The short stories The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne deal with the theme of the importance of faith in human life but differ in treatment by transforming the same into human sacrifice and loss of faith in God and humanity (special references to the theme/author's purpose).
Comparison and contrast:
A. Comparison: theme/author's purpose
The theme of the short story The Lottery is so simple. For instance, the villagers are deeply involved in the preparation to conduct their annual lottery. The readers cannot track any sort of horror in the opening of the story because the author cunningly veils the secret behind the lottery. To be specific, the importance given to village life veils the secret behind the lottery. For instance, the children are not aware of the cruelty and horror behind the lottery. They consider the preparation for the lottery as a chance to be free from their parents’ control. The elders do not consider the horror behind the lottery as serious. Jackson states that “They stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed” (6). In short, the author’s purpose in the short story The Lottery is hidden as a secret.
The author’s purpose in this short story is to develop a simple theme to a complex ending. For instance, the opening scene of the short story Young Goodman Brown consists of a casual conversation between the protagonist and his wife. This casual conversation misleads the readers because the simple theme gradually develops into complexity. Hawthorne states that “ He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind” (9). Both the short stories give ample importance to family as a social institution. In short, comparison between the two short stories proves that the themes are simple and the authors make use of the same for social criticism. B. Contrast: theme/author's purpose As pointed out, in the short story The Lottery, the author’s treatment of the simple theme is different because the same is transformed into superstitious belief and human sacrifice. Bloom opines that “In true Shirley Jackson fashion, suspense is built around the unknown nature of this particular lottery” (24). In the short story, the villagers are nervous because they are going to the victims or the eye witnesses of a strange tradition. This traditional belief in human sacrifice is transferred from generation to generation. The villagers are not ready to question the inhuman tradition but are ready to undergo the same without protest. When Tessie (Bill Hutchinson’s wife) is selected, the readers come to know that she is selected as the victim of an inhuman tradition followed by the villagers. Within this context, the term lottery cannot be connected with luck, but death. On the other side, the short
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