Summer Shockers

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Shocking Summers In both Shirley Jackson?s short story ?The Lottery? and Ursula K. Le Guin?s short story ?The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas? the author?s set the stage for their stories in bright summer cities filled with seemingly happy citizens going about their everyday business in a typical fashion. However, their description of these cities and the people who live in them sets the reader up to anticipate a happy story, when in the end the stories reveal these communities shocking darkness that the people have all come to live their lives with. Because the children in both of these stories have grown up experiencing these traditions they have no problem with following them. Most of the children in the stories do not even question the actions of their communities. This is just the way it has to be. The sacrifice of one to save the many.

Shirley Jackson starts her story by trying to give the reader a very clear mental picture of the town. She uses many descriptive phrases stressing the beauty of the day and the brilliance of nature. ?The Lottery? begins with all the townspeople outside on a day when the story says ?the morning? was clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day(862). The reader also gets involved in the play of the children at the beginning of this story where Shirley Jackson says ?they broke into boisterous play?(863). From the way the children are acting there is no reason to expect that something bad is about to happen. There is a freedom and carelessness in the spirit of young children, and they have no sense of responsibility or consequences for their actions. The young children of this town probably do not even remember the lottery from the...

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