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Shirley Jackson’s "The Lottery" and Flannery O’Connnors "A Good

Man Is Hard To Find" are stories that deal with mans inhumanity to man by

illastrating different situation, but lead to the same conclusion and with no

thought of the consequences. Jackson and O’Connor use central characters to show

how man has the power to distort reality into something the people accept into

everyday life. Jackson uses tradition in "The Lottery" when she uses

Mr. Summers as the announcer of the lottery every year. Mr. Summers was a person

who believed in the lottery and never thought of ending this tradition. Every

year Mr. Summers spoke about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as

much tradition as was represented by the black box. When the people were asked

to get in like to pick a paper, they had done it so many times, " they half

listened to the directions," (Jackson 235). For generations the lottery was

always 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 different

path of traditon but lead to same consequences. The Misfit like Mr. Summers is

messanger of death, but for different reasons. Like the people of "The

Lottery" the family in "A Good Man Is Hard To Find" both have a

destination 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 Is

Hard 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 and

kill the entire family, and in this way in his mind he is saving them from

sinning again. These stories were of manupalation of the mind. Jackson used two

main characters to make the people go along and continue the lottery. The people

of the village had been so brainwashed by Mr. Summers and Old Man Warner that

they did whatever they said to do. When " Mr. Summers raised one hand high

and said, Adams. A man disengaged himself from the crowd and came

forward"(Jackson 235) Old Man Warner was the oldest person in town and

always talked about the lottery in that it was a good thing because when the

lottery is performed "corn be heavy soon." (Jackson 236). The people

have lack of independent thought when they follow Mr. Summers, and Old Man

Warner tells the villagers to finish Mrs. Hutchinson quickly. Without hesatation

the crowd picks up stones and start stoning Mrs.Hutchinson with no thought of

why or if it’s even right to do this act. When O’Connor had her characters

manupalate the rest, the grandmother was loudmouth, know it all, always giving

her son Bailey suggestion on how to go about the vaction they planned. When she

suggested to her son to go to the house with the secret panel, she told him that

it would be a good educational trip for the children. Bailey was not thinking

for himself when he was following his mothers directions to the secret panel

house. If it weren’t for the grandmothers cat Pitty Sing they would have never

come across the Misfit. When the Misfit did arrive on the scene he was in total

control of his men, Bobby Lee and Hiram. The Misfit was in charge of everything

that went on from that moment on. The only time in the story that he was a

follower or lacked the indepence to question, was when he was inprisoned for

something he could not remember. The only thing he was told was that he killed

his father and that prison had papers on him. The Misfit blames the penatentary

for the way he acts and his actions. "The Lottery" is a story that was

about self-preservation of ones self. Old Man Warner had lived seventy-seven

years and had never been the chosen one, so he was always for the lottery. To

him the lottery was not bad because he was never the one to pick the black

marker. Mrs. Hutchinson was the one chosen and was trying to get her married

daughters to draw with them. " Theres Don and Eva," Mrs. Hutchinson

yelled, "Make them take their chance."(Jackson 236). She was thinking

if 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 the

lottery, "Bill Hutchinson went over to his wife and forced the slip of

paper out of her hand. Bill Huthinson held it up, and there was a stir in the

crowd."(Jackson 237). When the family was chosen everybody in the village

were relieved and started to ask which family had been chosen. When Mrs. Dunbar

had found out who it was, as though glad it was not her family, "Go tell

your father," Mrs. Dunbar said to her older son.(Jackson 236) Selfishness

was used in A Good Man Is Hard To Find in a different way by different

characters. When the children told the grandmother, "If you don’t want to

go to Florida, why dotcha stay at home?"(O’Connor 568) They were thinking

that the grandmother maybe would ruin the trip for the rest of the family. The

grandmother was not the only victim in this story, her son Bailey had to hear

her complain about where they were going and she just wanted to go to east

Tennessee for herself to meet up with her connection. On the other hand the

Misfit used selfishness for the wrong reason and that was for his own benefit in

that he thought he was everybodys savior. In his mind he was above everybody and

that what he was performing was that person wanted to be saved from future

sinning. The grandmother thought if she could not save her family, then she is

going to try to save herself. When she was preaching to the Misfit and told him

that he was one of her children and she reached for him, the Misfit got startled

and shot her, because she got too close. Man is far away from a world without

violence and these are some of the reasons people keep doing all the things that

we read about or hear, or even see on television. Man might, one day, be able to

live with each other if we can get over the prejudice and thinking of where were

headed if we don’t change our ways. There were many elements that were used in

both stories, but the ones writen in this paper were the ones that to me were of

more imprtance.

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