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“The Lottery” by Jackson, and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by Lawrence

Introduction

Human society is founded on the fact that luck in life is a goal that everyone wants to achieve. From this perspective, in two dramatic short stories, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence, the philosophical conflict between luck and its consequences is clearly outlined. This paper aims to compare the two literary works mentioned in terms of analyzing the conflict.

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Brief Analysis of Stories

Lotteries and sports games are always of particular value because they reflect pleasure, excitement, and intrigue. Nevertheless, Jackson and Lawrence’s short stories give a slightly different perspective on the phenomenon of luck — rejoicing at the victory, the winners face unexpected consequences.

Both stories are tied to the lives of two social groups: Jackson describes the routine of a small village of three hundred inhabitants, while Lawrence talks about a family with an unquenchable thirst for money (Jackson 247; Lawrence 5). Both authors begin by detailing the environment in which the groups live in order to provide the reader with the complete picture of the unremarkable and dull life in which the lottery or horse racing are the only ways to have fun.

The Path to Conflict

The conflicts created by the authors appears to the reader as an unexpected culmination. Both stories tell a sophisticated philosophical conflict between luck and the price to be paid by the winner. While artistic techniques, conveyed by long, detailed sentences, metaphors, and descriptions of environmental conditions, are similarly used by authors, it is essential to note that Jackson and Lawrence did not approach the final philosophical conflict in the same way.

In Jackson’s short story, the village looks forward to the lottery every year, not to enrich one resident, but to attract them to be publicly executed by stones. In other words, the conflict is not resolved in favor of the winner, because the winner of the town lottery does not become a winner at all, but a victim. Knowing this, the words of the oldest villager that the lottery cancellation is blasphemy and primitiveness are perceived in a completely different way (Jackson 250).

On the contrary, Lawrence demonstrates in detail how the inner desire for victory visually and mentally changes the boy who has the gift of foresight (Lawrence 38). Wishing to concentrate his last strength to guess the name of the winning horse, the character loses all his health and dies a few days later.

Chekhov’s Gun Helps to Understand the Culmination

It is safe to say that the authors of the stories understood from the beginning in what favor the conflict will be solved. Each of the authors was probably convinced that the story of excitement and desire to win will be doomed to the death of the character, that is why they described in details the elements that will have a force closer to the end of the text.

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While Chekhov’s gun of town lottery lies in the boys’ collection of stones at the very beginning (which is undoubtedly read as a typical children’s game), for the story of horse racing a symbol for understanding the boy’s potential madness, which will happen by the end, was the key in a small wood horse, which prompted the boy the names of the right candidates.

The Solution

The use of literary techniques and furnishings accurately states that Jackson and Lawrence have determined the fight between luck and its price for themselves and readers. In seeking victory, people usually do not wonder what value they will pay: the price of a human relationship, career, reputation, or life.

The usual, stable course of life changes radically with the arrival of the luck element, but, as the authors have shown, the individual should objectively understand what lies behind such fundamental changes. In other words, it is not always essential to chase after luck or rely on luck, because they can be the catalysts of irreversible and unwanted change.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be noted that in “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D.H. Lawrence has much in common from the conflict between luck and consequences. Each of the authors creates a world in which the desire for the main prize is linked to the emotional and then physical death of the character. At the same time, it is interesting to note that the logic of Jackson and Lawrence’s stories is similar: through suspense, expressed as long, descriptive sentences, there is a pressure that develops into a culmination.

Works Cited

Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery. The Treasury of American Short Stories, 1949.

Lawrence, David Herbert. The Rocking-Horse Winner. Dramatic Publishing, 1966.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, June 17). “The Lottery” by Jackson, and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by Lawrence. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-lottery-by-jackson-and-the-rocking-horse-winner-by-lawrence/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, June 17). “The Lottery” by Jackson, and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by Lawrence. https://studycorgi.com/the-lottery-by-jackson-and-the-rocking-horse-winner-by-lawrence/

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"“The Lottery” by Jackson, and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by Lawrence." StudyCorgi, 17 June 2022, studycorgi.com/the-lottery-by-jackson-and-the-rocking-horse-winner-by-lawrence/.

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StudyCorgi. "“The Lottery” by Jackson, and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by Lawrence." June 17, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-lottery-by-jackson-and-the-rocking-horse-winner-by-lawrence/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“The Lottery” by Jackson, and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by Lawrence." June 17, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-lottery-by-jackson-and-the-rocking-horse-winner-by-lawrence/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) '“The Lottery” by Jackson, and “The Rocking-Horse Winner” by Lawrence'. 17 June.

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