Similarities Involving Social Ritual And Ceremony In The Hunger Games And “The Lottery”

1010 words - 5 pages

By using arbitrary rules, inequitable odds, and blindly following traditions in The Hunger Games and “The Lottery” Collins and Jackson create an environment for a hostile social ritual and ceremony.
In society rules are made so no one gets hurt and so that there is a standard of living we can all abide by; however, in The Hunger Games and “The Lottery” the rules are set to do the opposite. The rules made by “the game makers” are in place to cause chaos, death, and fear among the citizens in both stories. A rule of significance in each story is that everyone must be present for the “reaping.” Although each story has different reasons as to why everyone must be present the consequences are implied to be the same. In The Hunger Games the accumulation of potential tributes serves two purposes. The main purpose of gathering everyone and putting them in a small area is that the Capitol thrives off of power. The most evident example of the Capitol’s thirst for power is when Katness Everdeen mocks the Capitol by saying; “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you” (Collins, 19). By herding everyone into a small area it shows that the people in the Districts have no power and are merely lambs to the slaughter in the Capitol’s eyes. The second purpose being that the hunger games reaping serves as a census for the Capitol. Before the children are lined up in front of the stage they are counted, inspected, and sorted according to age then all the information the peacekeepers collect go to the Capitol. The only excuse for missing the “reaping” is said bluntly by Everdeen: “attendance is mandatory unless you are at death’s door” (Collins, 16). If someone is caught in their homes during the “reaping” they are arrested and taken back to the Capitol to be tortured.
The consequence for missing the lottery is implied to be similar to missing the “reaping.” If someone misses the lottery then someone else must draw for that person, given that they have an excuse for not being there. In the story Clyde Dunbar could not draw for himself due to a broken leg, thus his wife drew for him. In both cases if you miss the “reaping” or the lottery the odds of you being chosen are put in someone else’s hand which unfortunately for the main characters in both stories, are not in their favor.
The odds of being chosen in both stories seem to be equal but when the reader peels back the silver lining that the game creators want you to believe they are far from fair. In The Hunger Games the Capitol offers a meager parcel of food and water that lasts for one year per person which is called a tesserae. Starting at the age of twelve a child can take out one tesserae per person in their family given that they agree to have their name entered in...

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