The Lottery vs Harrison Bergeron

Traditions tend to make you do what everyone else in your society is doing. Both of the tragic stories “The Lottery”, and “Harrison Bergeron” teach about how society tends to conform to certain traditions or ways of being, no matter how gruesome. Their societies conform to such bizarre traditions, in fear of what might happen to them if they do not comply year after year. These stories have some similarities, but also have many differences, for example, the setting. The setting of “The Lottery” is set in the past, around 1948 in a small village of around 200 people, who are a little more barbaric than nowadays.

The setting of “Harrison Bergeron” takes place around 2080, in Middle America. In both stories, the main character gets punished for going against their society’s way of life, and both die while their families watch. Although people today may think that the people and societies in these stories are doing is crazy, but in reality our societies today do not differ in the sense that we are fighting for equality. But fighting for equality may not be what we should be doing. After all, wouldn’t it be bland and no interesting things going on in the world if we were all the same?

In “The Lottery”, each year, everyone in the village is counted for, and the head of the village makes a blank slip of paper for everyone in the village, except one of the papers has a black dot in the middle of it. They put them all in a box, and the next morning, everyone comes to the meeting point in the village, and all of the men of the houses pull a piece of paper out. The family that draws out the paper with a black dot will have one of their family members stoned to death.

Even though they may not want to run the society this way, they are afraid to change the ways that their ancestors have lived, and by changing their lifestyle will cause even more problems. In “Harrison Bergeron”, anyone that had a talent above or below the average was given a handicap to make them equal to everyone else. Those handicaps would either increase their abilities, or decrease them to the average human’s. They may have not liked the way that they were using handicaps against them, but they did not go against it, because it was making the society equal for the better.

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