The Devil And Miss Prym By Paulo Coehlo And The Short Story The Lottery

1425 Words Jun 3rd, 2016 6 Pages
Choosing Good As children, many people become accustomed to utilizing the words “good” and “bad” in daily speech. Whether it is to describe how one is feeling or the nature of a decision made, the practice of binary labeling becomes a habit. In the novel The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coehlo and the short story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, the villagers must choose between what they perceive as good and what is not. The issue presented in both pieces of literature is whether the good of the many is worth the sacrifice of one individual, bringing to light the question of what really is “good”. The Devil and Miss Prym is a novel that takes place in the small, remote village of Viscos. A stranger enters into the town and presents the people with the opportunity to obtain riches through the gold he has buried there. The twist, however, is that they must commit murder in order to get the gold. They would then prove the stranger’s theory that humankind is evil. When faced with this proposal, the villagers determine that the sacrifice of one in order to benefit society is the right decision. Chantal Prym, the youngest of the villagers, was chosen by the stranger to share his proposition with the villagers. After struggling with determining what is good, she comes to the conclusion that no one can be trusted. Therefore, the villager’s decision to murder Berta, the village’s wise old lady, is wrong. On the other hand, the villagers in The Lottery come to the opposite…

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