We can transform our life by altering our thinking process, and the stories by Shirley Jackson and Chris Abani emphasize on changing the thought. Shirley Jackson’s story, “The Lottery”, conveys a great ironic tradition of a certain American community at some time in history, probably not that old. Similarly, “The Lottery” by Chris Abani also explores a similar tragic story about a loss of a life, and presents the life and survival as a lottery, which is never certain. In these regards, both these stories express a common theme of a traditional belief and a tragic end of a life but in a very contrasting fashion and settings.
Shirley Jackson portrayed an American village, where people carry a sacrificial ritual to please the god for the productive crop harvest. The story organizes the mob crime in a very simple positive tone, slowly escalates to a climax, and ends in a negative tone. She was amazed by the mob crime actively practiced in a relatively not that old town of America. An innocent individual, who unluckily picks a black marked token, was stoned to death in a ceremonial fashion. Amazingly, no one questioned the need of such ritual.
Her fiction illustrates how dangerous a tradition and a religion can be if followed blindly. This has occurred for years, and no one has ever probed the necessity for such ritual; everyone appeared convinced that this was the only way to please the god for the better harvest. She has tried to enter the essence of such misbeliefs, and explore the potential outcomes. She wondered why the society could not protest the social murder, and why they were resilient to change their ancient tradition. The fear from the potential harm, which one had never seen, but only speculated, was driving everyone to end a life brutally; this explains how poor they were in their thought process. She has used the word lottery with a negative connotation, and winning a lottery measured not the happiness as perceived by many in the modern world, but the untimely inhuman death, and an unjust to the unlucky one.
As opposed to the Jackson’s story, Abani’s story was a true heart touching incident that took place in a relatively different...