Compare And Contrast The Lottery And The Rocking Horse Winner

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“The Rocking-Horse Winner” by D. H. Lawrence is a story about a young boy named Paul who attempts to win his mother’s affection by becoming lucky, thereby securing the money his mother so desperately wants. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson is a story about townspeople who blindly conform to tradition and carry out a rather savage practice in an unexpected manner. Both stories use setting to convey a message. In “The Rocking-Horse Winner”, the setting becomes almost another character that is used to drive the plot forward and to explain the reason behind the action of the main characters. By contrast, the setting of “The Lottery” lulls the reader into a false sense of tranquility before shocking the reader with the final plot twist.
“The Rocking-Horse
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The setting is a small village of about 300 people. The date is June 27th; summer has begun, and there are children playing and gathering piles of stones. The entire town has congregated for their annual lottery. In this seemingly typical all-American small town, the lottery is a long-standing, annual tradition, which precedes a corn healthy harvest. This day appears to be so ordinary to the townsfolk that one resident rushes to the gathering in the town square claiming she “clean forgot what day it was”. Other characters in the story engage in light-hearted banter as they discuss how foolish people in other towns are by stopping the lottery. The irony of the setting of this story is that, in this seemingly placid, idyllic town, the lottery determines who among them will “win” a death by …show more content…
In “The Rocking-Horse Winner” the anxiety over a lack of money causes the home to take on a symbolic personality. The house drives the main character, Paul, to ride to his death in the pursuit of money. Therefore in this story, setting complements the plot. By contrast, “The Lottery” uses setting to establish a normal, run-of-the-mill small town feeling in order to elicit a shock response to the ending. Setting contradicts the final plot twist to heighten the savagery of the ending. Thus, both stories use setting achieve a more powerful

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