On Human Rights in The Lottery and The Hangman

Essay by van_EcksJunior High, 9th gradeA+, June 2005

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 49 times

Human Rights

Human rights are something that everyone deserves. Unfortunately, in various parts of the world, basic human rights are denied. That is why it is important to defend the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. Two pieces of literature that demonstrate how people should defend themselves are The Hangman, a poem by Maurice Ogden and The Lottery, a short story by Shirley Jackson.

In The Lottery, a small town somewhere in the country gathers on a warm, early-summer morning to carry out their annual lottery. Selection takes place with the head of each family selecting a piece of paper. The winning family shall then have each member select their own piece of paper with whomever pulls the black dot the winner. In this piece told in the third person, the Hutchinson family wins and each member must then select their own piece of paper. One Tessie Hutchinson becomes increasingly alarmed as the selection is narrowed down to her family with herself being declared the winner.

She had repeatingly made excuses and had tried to have the process restarted. One does not understand why she is alarmed as the fate of the Lottery winner is not known until the first stone strikes her, though the tone grows darker as she gets closer to her fate. The story eerily contrasts the modern, typical details of the villager's lives with the barbarity of the lottery ritual, human sacrifice in the belief it will result in a good crop season. For example,Mrs. Hutchinson is washing dishes before coming to the ritual, and the Lottery head is described as wearing blue jeans. This story is remarkably similar in concept to The Hangman.

The Hangman begins in first-person narrative with a collective voice throughtout, detailing the arrival of the Hangman to...