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Two Faced Society Essay

1344 words - 6 pages

Two-faced society
In both the stories "The Lottery" by Shirely Jackson and "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin, speak about an Utopian society with a dark side. Coincidently both stories show themes that coincide with our own society. Each of the stories starts out with a wonderful sunny day, celebrating an event. But the joyous event has a morbid element to it. In the end of each story someone else must suffer for the happiness of their world. If it was a truly Utopian society wouldn't there be an absence of suffering? This question leads us to the theme that there us no true Utopian society. The stories each show that in order to lead a happy life someone must suffer. ...view middle of the document...

The sufferer themselves questions why they bear the unjust treatment. The child in the basement child screams, "Please let me out. I will be good!"(P.1318, Le Guin). It is suggested that the child does not know why they where locked away. The Omelasians reasoning is that they "...all understand that their happiness...depend wholly on this child's abominable misery" (P.1318, Le Guin) There is no reason as to how this child makes their society a Utopia but only that it is just so. Le Guin writes such an almost believable world but, chooses to make it dystopia of sorts. Maybe Le Guin is trying to correlate her story with our own world. Moving through her story more readers learn that the Omelasians are not heartless. Citizens of Omelas are infuriated by the fact there is a child rotting in the underground of the city in the story, "They would like to do something for the child. But there us nothing they can do." (P.1319, Le Guin) If we think about it in terms of America and how it's relationship with other countries are we can see how this story intertwines. Thripp points this out in his writing that even though the citizens would like to save the child but,
" they know that the very hour they would save the child, “all the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed” (6). Quite a price indeed. We have ethical dilemmas in the real world that are similar yet more murky, such as euthanasia for the hopelessly ill and elderly, triaging in disasters and on the battleground (not every limb, person, or finger can be saved), and wars that are supposably fought for the good of the world, but result in millions of deaths and injuries. The story of Omelas symbolizes them all." Le Guin is not the only writer who had the same ideas of our society.
Ironically Jackson's story starts out the same with a summer day. Yet again everyone is celebrating a holiday. "The Lottery" is celebrating a yearly draw. An event suggested by one of the villagers happened since the start of the village. The town in "The Lottery" are slightly nervous during the drawing and want it to be quickly over with. In "The Lottery" the one who draws a black marked slip must be stoned to death. None other than by there fellow neighbors and family members. The one who draws the slip, Mrs.Hutchinson protests, "It isnt fair, it isn't right,"(P.1243, Jackson) before being stoned. A villager comments during the lottery that, "There's always been a lottery," (P.1241, Jackson) telling readers that the villagers do not know why they do what they do, because it is just tradition. And in "The Lottery" even though the lottery winner, or in this stories case the loser, Mrs. Hutchinson pleads...

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