Comparison and Contrast between the Themes and Purposes of the Stories The Lottery and The Most Dangerous Game

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In Jackson’s story this brutality of mankind underlies masked beneath the rituals and norms of social celebration, whereas Connell envisages this brutality in a wild world where no laws prevail, but the power of muscles. In both stories, the central characters, like Tessie Hutchinson in Lottery, Rainsford and General Zarrof in the Most Dangerous Game are sportively desirous to inflict pains and deaths on their victims. These characters cannot realize what the victims feel until they themselves become trapped in their own actions. Also both Jackson and Connell propound that the gap between the victims and the victimizers remain unfathomable since the victimizers ultimately remain triumphant and the victims remain unheard and subsequently are put to death. Both Jackson and Connell significantly have depicted the distance between the victimizer and the victimized in their stories. The victimizer or the hunter will never feel the victimized or the hunted. Even if they find themselves in their victims’ position, they will remain unheard. Jackson’s protagonist Mrs. … So far she has acted as a part of her community, the collective victimizer that celebrates its members’ death. But this time, she herself is going to be the victim. She as well as her objection to the unfairness of the ritual will remain unheard, as she herself has not paid heed to other victims. Connell also portrays this distance between the victimizer and the victimized. For Rainsford and General Zarrof hunting is The best sport in the world (Connell). When Whitney comments that hunting is a sport only for the hunter, not for the jaguar, Rainsford objects, Who cares how a jaguar feels? (Connell) This refusal of Rainsford that the jaguars or the hunted have understanding and The fear of pain and the fear of death is almost ironical, since he himself becomes terrified and appalled at Zarrof’s man-hunting game. Indeed Zarrof is Rainsford’s own mirror image. Before being Rainsford’s victim, Zarrof wishes to play with him, since man-hunting is his favorite game. Forced by Zarrof he participates in his man-hunting game and eventually becomes triumphant over Zarrof. Still he fails to understand a victim’s fear for life and kills Zarrof. Even nearing to death Rainsford’s failure to perceive his victim’s death, ultimately turns him into a beast. Indeed he figuratively admits near the end of the story: I am still a beast at bay (Connel). Rainsford’s self-acknowledgement of his beast-like image obviously refers to the dark savagery that dwells in modern man’s heart. This existential savagery of human being is also evident in the Lottery. Referring to the collective savagery, Amy Griffin says, [Jackson] wanted to dramatize graphically the pointless violence in