Compare and Contrast: The Lottery and The Rocking Horse Winner
June 4, 2012
Compare and Contrast:
The Lottery and The Rocking Horse Winner
Are you born lucky or is luck something that you can earn? If I bought a lottery ticket today and I won the mega-million jackpot tomorrow, I would say that I probably born lucky, but if I didn’t have the winning ticket then I would say that luck was never on my side. Shirley Jackson’s, “The Lottery”, and D.H. Lawrence’s, “The Rocking Horse Winner”, share the common theme of luck. Yet, the authors’ purpose in each story shows contrast when examining if luck is in your favor.
In “The Lottery”, I was introduced to a small village and immediately reminded of a ‘District 12’ type of village. The short story seemed very similar to the beginning of the popular book and movie, The Hunger Games. I immediately picked up on the theme of luck and was reminded of the infamous quote from Hunger Games, “And may the odds be ever in your favor!”
The village seemed very anxious on the day of the lottery, but it was not until the black box was referenced, did I feel the negative undertone that was associated with the day. “The black box grew shabbier each year; by now it was no longer completely black but splintered badly along one side to show the original wood color, and in some places faded or stained” (Jackson, 1948). I like this description of the box because it helps to set the mood what is to follow, as if whatever was in the ugly black box was something other than rainbows and kittens.
The story never concluded with why the box and lottery existed, only that it had been around for a long time. Within the box were slips of paper, all with names of villagers. And marked on one slip of paper is where the luck of one individual would forever mean life or death. By pulling the slip of paper marked with the black spot, the luck of ‘Tessie Hutchison’ meant death.