Midterm Exam

6 June 2017

Utopian Stories After reading the short stories thought this semester, I have found that many of the Utopian stories are thematically the same. A Utopian story is a short story or novel in which someone pays the cost for perfection in society. There are three short stories that are most thematically alike those are: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson in 1948; The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin in 1975; and Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in 1961.

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I have chosen these three stories because someone pays the cost in each of these stories and the results in each of them are the same. The elements of plot, characterizations, settings and symbols of each of these stories are alike. The story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is about village who stones a villager, old or young, once a year, for good crops and harvest. This person is chosen by a draw from a box. As in the lottery, the short story entitled The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin is about a community that isolates and eglects a child for a “perfect” community and in Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. he community is restrained by handicap’s so that everyone can be equally perfect. All of these stories plots have the one person that is tortured or killed for everyone else’s happiness. Someone has to die or be neglected for perfection, they become sacrifices and not willingly. They are chosen unfairly or are held back of their gifts. The characterizations in each of these stories are simply innocent. None of the main characters had a choice and if they rebelled they were still put to death. In The Lottery Mrs. Hutchinson seems to be a normal mother and a great wife.

She was doing as women in that time should have done, and she was late because she was doing the dishes. She was innocent. In The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas a young boy is neglected and frowned upon as a sacrifice. It is not said that this boy had done anything to deserve this, or that he was chosen because of his behavior. He was innocent and very young, most likely pure. In Harrison Bergeron both the mother and father were a normal family however the father had to wear a handicap to make im less intelligent and Harrison was a normal boy that was smart and talented however he disagreed and paid a cost.

I believe that all the characters were treated unfairly. They all seemed to be nice and normal. The settings and Symbols of each of the stories are in a small village or community. A smaller community is easier to control and persuade. I think that the symbols are similar they are all restraints in a way or isolation. Stones were used in the lottery and when thinking of a stone I think of something cold and hard and very uncomfortable. In the Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas they used a basement to keep the boy in.

When thinking of a basement I think of a dark cold place also very hard and uncomfortable. In Harrison Bergeron they used handicap’s that were probably uncomfortable and the loud sounds in their all very uncomfortable. In conclusion I believe that these three stories were all thematically alike. The Lottery, The Ones Who Walk away from Omelas, and Harrison Bergeron were all great stories and I would recommend them to anyone who would like to read a utopian story.

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