A Comparison of the Lottery and the Destructors Short Stories Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


In society, some people derive joy from seeing other people suffer. The above-mentioned fictional stories have a rather sadistic point of view. A specific group in each story derives its comfort in watching its fellow human beings suffer. One of the groups that could be excused are children who often derive fun in extreme and weird situations. However, in the fiction written by Shirley Jackson, the characters involved are adults.

These two fictional stories were both published in the early 1950’s and late 1940’s at a time when there was liberation and mockery during the end of World War II and undesired segregations. The authors’ ideas might have developed due to the situation at the time when the fictional stories were written.

“The Lottery” takes place during a fruitful month of summer, when flowers are blooming and grass is richly green yet the event that followed was utterly unexplainable. Why would anyone want to stone someone on such a beautiful day just because the lottery suggested that it was his or her time to be stoned?

As for “the Destructor”, the scenery is a spontaneous car park, the spot of the most recent bomb of the first bombardment. Next to the car park stood the house of ‘Old Misery’ -a name that had been given to him by the gang. However, his real name was Thomas, a nice person who even more than often tried befriending the gang.

The contrast is that, in “the Destructors”, it is children who are considered to be naive and clueless to the harm they cause to others and themselves but as for “the Lottery”, a whole community just decides to stone one individual. The community which comprises of adults is in support of the idea. In “the Lottery”, the mood is hasty, everyone is eager to wind up and go back home to their daily routine.

The author uses several sentences and describes the events around to lure the reader into presuming that it is a normal community. In developing the plot of the story, the author foreshadows the story’s ending by talking about the black box and the black dot at the end of the story, which symbolized the person to be stoned (Jackson et al).

Irony is employed in the same story in other instances. The beginning tells us of a happy normal hardworking community, but the end contrasts the character highlighted at the beginning. The author in this story also uses the names of the characters to create different styles like allusion, symbolism and irony. Names like Graves symbolize death, but this is ironical because Graves and his family evade death, which befalls Tessie of the Hutchinson’s.

On the other hand, in “the Destructors”, there is very little or no symbolism created in the names used. Irony has though been used to describe the driver who began to laugh instead of sympathizing with Thomas when he learnt that the old man’s house was in shambles (Greene et al).

“The Destructors” shows Blacker as the team leader. Seemingly, Trevor wanted this post for quite some time. The reader would expect him to go for it as his name, Blacker, suggests it. However, Blacker gives in, and lets Trevor be the leader after he came to the realization that Trevor would lose the gangs’ trust. Furthermore, he had helped him at times. Despite his darkened name, he had a soft spot, which showed some sort of irony intentionally or unintentionally done by the author (Graham et al).

The contrasting bit of these two stories is the fact that the setting of one gives an illusion of a different ending with happiness. What comes out is the stoning of one of the members yet the other one just shows destruction which is eminent at some point. “The Lottery” satirizes a number of social issues, including the reluctance of people to reject outdated traditions, ideas, rules, laws, and practices as well the effects associated with them.

The perspective of Mr. Thomas guards the traditional ways and the archaic trust in the power of elders. He believes he has the ability to control what the boys do and forbid them from taking part in some things simply because he is elder. (Jackson et al). The author demonstrates the lower class and represents it by the gang. The lower class is not content to see the upper class take pleasure in valuable property. Instead, they destroy the property and somehow manage to create equilibrium between the wealthy class and the poor.

Works Cited

Greene, Graham. 21 Stories. New York: Viking Press, Questia, 1962. Web.

Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. Classic Short Stories.n.d. Web.

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