English 102 Fiction Essay

1108 Words Nov 17th, 2014 5 Pages
The Pursuit of Passions
ENGL 102: Composition and Literature
Fall D 2014
Nicholas Pampaloni, L2366120

THESIS: The themes of Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery” and D.H. Lawrence’s, “The Rocking-Horse Winner” demonstrate a very powerful and sinister aspect of fallen human nature. The characters in both of these stories are driven to what many would describe as insanity in the pursuit of a passion. Ultimately, these pursuits end in unimaginable tragedy and pain. I. The townspeople in “The Lottery” and the family members in “The Rocking-Horse Winner” are caught up in their passions. A. Paul is pursuing answers as a way to earn money and become lucky. B. The townspeople are pursuing an ancient tradition, no
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D.H. Lawrence provides his readers with a vivid description of the effects that this pursuit begins to have on young Paul. “The Derby was drawing near, and the boy grew more and more tense. He hardly heard what was spoken to him, he was very frail, and his eyes were really uncanny” (Lawrence 243). Paul’s health was beginning to be terribly affected by his burning passion for wealth. Likewise, the townspeople continued to pursue their passion for keeping a long tradition while choosing to ignore its vileness and cruelty. Every year, one of the townspeople is chosen at random through the “lottery” and then promptly stoned to death. The entire town participates in this murder from the oldest to the youngest. It seems that they take this event very lightly as evidenced by Mrs. Hutchinson’s forgetfulness of the lottery and cheerful banter with the townspeople as she approaches. Their passion has blinded them from seeing the true evil of the lottery. Ultimately, the pursuit of these passions ends in death in both stories. Paul, driven to find the answers he seeks about the future winner of the Derby, rides his rocking horse with all his might. Just as he receives the answer, he falls senseless to the ground and enters a coma that lasts for three days. Upon awakening, he learns that his prediction was correct and that he truly has become wealthy, but at what cost? His dying words to his mother were, “Mother, did I ever tell you? I am lucky!” (Hawkins 245). Although he had

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