Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Flannery O’Connnors “A GoodMan Is Hard To Find” are stories that deal with mans inhumanity to man byillastrating different situation, but lead to the same conclusion and with nothought of the consequences.
Jackson and O’Connor use central characters to showhow man has the power to distort reality into something the people accept intoeveryday life. Jackson uses tradition in “The Lottery” when she usesMr. Summers as the announcer of the lottery every year. Mr. Summers was a personwho believed in the lottery and never thought of ending this tradition.
Everyyear Mr. Summers spoke about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even asmuch tradition as was represented by the black box. When the people were askedto get in like to pick a paper, they had done it so many times, ” they halflistened to the directions,” (Jackson 235).
For generations the lottery wasalways performed on the twenty-seventh of June, but the orginal box was lost,the rituals were forgotten, but the villagers did remember to use stones.Tradition in “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” O’Connor goes a differentpath of traditon but lead to same consequences. The Misfit like Mr. Summers ismessanger of death, but for different reasons.
Like the people of “TheLottery” the family in “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” both have adestination and a purpose and that is to meet their maker. The person in”The Lottery” is killed for being unlucky, and in “A Good Man IsHard To Find” the Misfit was inprisoned for a reason he does not remember.It was in the best way to keep up his reputation as a killer, to go ahead andkill the entire family, and in this way in his mind he is saving them fromsinning again.
These stories were of manupalation of the mind. Jackson used twomain characters to make the people go along and continue the lottery. The peopleof the village had been so brainwashed by Mr. Summers and Old Man Warner thatthey did whatever they said to do. When ” Mr. Summers raised one hand highand said, Adams.
A man disengaged himself from the crowd and cameforward”(Jackson 235) Old Man Warner was the oldest person in town andalways talked about the lottery in that it was a good thing because when thelottery is performed “corn be heavy soon.” (Jackson 236). The peoplehave lack of independent thought when they follow Mr. Summers, and Old ManWarner tells the villagers to finish Mrs. Hutchinson quickly. Without hesatationthe crowd picks up stones and start stoning Mrs.
Hutchinson with no thought ofwhy or if it’s even right to do this act. When O’Connor had her charactersmanupalate the rest, the grandmother was loudmouth, know it all, always givingher son Bailey suggestion on how to go about the vaction they planned. When shesuggested to her son to go to the house with the secret panel, she told him thatit would be a good educational trip for the children. Bailey was not thinkingfor himself when he was following his mothers directions to the secret panelhouse.
If it weren’t for the grandmothers cat Pitty Sing they would have nevercome across the Misfit. When the Misfit did arrive on the scene he was in totalcontrol of his men, Bobby Lee and Hiram. The Misfit was in charge of everythingthat went on from that moment on. The only time in the story that he was afollower or lacked the indepence to question, was when he was inprisoned forsomething he could not remember. The only thing he was told was that he killedhis father and that prison had papers on him. The Misfit blames the penatentaryfor the way he acts and his actions. “The Lottery” is a story that wasabout self-preservation of ones self.
Old Man Warner had lived seventy-sevenyears and had never been the chosen one, so he was always for the lottery. Tohim the lottery was not bad because he was never the one to pick the blackmarker. Mrs.
Hutchinson was the one chosen and was trying to get her marrieddaughters to draw with them. ” Theres Don and Eva,” Mrs. Hutchinsonyelled, “Make them take their chance.”(Jackson 236). She was thinkingif they could pick then they would be the ones that picked the black mark.
Mr.Hutchinson on the other hand did not speak or even try to take her place in thelottery, “Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip ofpaper out of her hand. Bill Huthinson held it up, and there was a stir in thecrowd.”(Jackson 237).
When the family was chosen everybody in the villagewere relieved and started to ask which family had been chosen. When Mrs. Dunbarhad found out who it was, as though glad it was not her family, “Go tellyour father,” Mrs. Dunbar said to her older son.(Jackson 236) Selfishnesswas used in A Good Man Is Hard To Find in a different way by differentcharacters. When the children told the grandmother, “If you don’t want togo to Florida, why dotcha stay at home?”(O’Connor 568) They were thinkingthat the grandmother maybe would ruin the trip for the rest of the family.
Thegrandmother was not the only victim in this story, her son Bailey had to hearher complain about where they were going and she just wanted to go to eastTennessee for herself to meet up with her connection. On the other hand theMisfit used selfishness for the wrong reason and that was for his own benefit inthat he thought he was everybodys savior. In his mind he was above everybody andthat what he was performing was that person wanted to be saved from futuresinning. The grandmother thought if she could not save her family, then she isgoing to try to save herself. When she was preaching to the Misfit and told himthat he was one of her children and she reached for him, the Misfit got startledand shot her, because she got too close. Man is far away from a world withoutviolence and these are some of the reasons people keep doing all the things thatwe read about or hear, or even see on television.
Man might, one day, be able tolive with each other if we can get over the prejudice and thinking of where wereheaded if we don’t change our ways. There were many elements that were used inboth stories, but the ones writen in this paper were the ones that to me were ofmore imprtance.Philosophy