The Ongoing Mistake Essay

1020 words - 5 pages

The Ongoing Human Mistake
Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. This famous quote well represents a theme often evident in literature. Whether the characters in the stories succeed or fail in making a change, the reader is able to infer that the literature is challenging the existing standards. When stories challenge the ‘things as they are’ there are positive changes to the society and in the characters themselves. The short story “Dinner Party” challenges the circumstances at that time, with the hostess of the party trying to prove women inequality wrong. The story “The Lottery” was following the status, however; the consequences of said make it ...view middle of the document...

This irony portrays how the colonel was wrong, that women are able to and can overthrow the status quo. These circumstances that once existed may seem absurd and stereotyped today. This proves that today, there may be bizarre standards but go on unnoticed. These aspects are well represented in the next story.

The story “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson reveals the idiocy of status quos and why some people endorse it. To begin, the stoning of Tessie Hutchinson is unintelligent and easily shows why this tradition had to be overthrown. For any person today when reading the title “The Lottery” people think of a winner of money or a beneficial prize. We are surprised to see such a twist at the end of the story and as a result the unusualness is emphasized. Just like the dinner party, women inequality is also shown in this story. Men are considered the head of family and draw on behalf of their family. This small part to the story may be used to represent a troublesome status quo while the story was being written. Shirley Jackson may have wanted the women inequality to be eliminated in reality but used the lottery as an example of an illogical standard. The character Old Man Warner is crucial in understanding why this village has kept the tradition and why there is no logic to it. The village continues with the tradition because their ancestors have done it for years. When there is mention of other villages getting rid of the lottery, Old Man Warner replies with “Pack of crazy fools…. There’s always been a lottery” (Jackson 14). It’s as if overthrowing this tradition would disappoint Old Man Warner. This confirms that some irrational status quos or “traditions” are carried through generations unnoticed.

The last example of overcoming existing standards was well illustrated in “A Man Who Had No Eyes”. The blind Mr. Parsons was able to go beyond what was expected from him....

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