The Lottery and The House on Mango Street: Involvement of Children in the Literary Works

Involvement of Children in the Literary Works
Children play an important role in both literary works. They not only help the authors to develop the themes of their literary works but also represent the most brutal and inhuman actions which are difficult to be referred to the childish behavior.

In the short story The Lottery children are used to gather the stones as a part of sacrifice. They know that these stones will kill one of their parents or neighbors, but they do not protest it. Shirley Jackson wanted to prove the fact that brutality is cultivated in the early age. Children are the tools in the lottery because they gather stones for committing a murder.

In the novel The House on Mango Street the life story of a young girl in on the first place. Moreover, Esperanza is the narrator whose character formation shown by the author through her feelings, impressions, behavior, decisions and dreams.

The author also uses children to show the life of Mexican immigrants in the United States through the eyes of children. There are a lot of children represented by Sandrs Cisneros in the novel. Among them are Cathy who shows Esperanza Mango street, Rachel and Lucy, two sisters who came from Texas, they became Esperanza’s best friends, Meme, Louie and others.
Life Struggles of the Main Characters

Life struggle is shown in both literary works. Life struggle is the major idea of the authors.
In The Lottery, the villagers struggle with having the chance “to draw the black dot” which means to be stoned to death by everybody around. It is clear that they do not want to die. Nevertheless, the old tradition demands to carry out this action annually. (Jackson, 1982, p.26)

In the novel The House on Mango Street the main character Esperanza struggles with her poor fate to live in Chicago neighborhood. She wants to change her life and to leave this terrible house and street but she cannot do it. Esparanza’s further life experience changes her relation to the house in Mango Street. Her self-identity helps her continue life struggle and to become a writer.
Main Characters

Esperanza is a main character in the novel The House on Mango Street. She is twelve and she has strong character. Esperanza is ready to change her life. We can see how she matures and changes her relation to the place she lives. Her awakenings include sexual awakening too. It is difficult for her to change her relation to boys as she thinks that boys and girls belong to different worlds. She is a child who is afraid of boys. When she matures she tries to test her power of a young lady over men. She realizes that in the society she lives women have no power over men. Men can do what they want. Esperanza was sexually assaulted and decided to forget all the facts she was told about men. Of course, Esperanza’s observations of the people around and her sexual experiences make her to leave Mango Street, but later she understands that will not be able to “leave this street behind”. She feels that she should help those people who did not escape Mango Street. She makes up her mind to become a writer because Esperanza has a talent of observation. (Cisneros, 1989, p.71)

Tessie Hutchinson is one of the main characters in the short story The Lottery who became the victim. She is a weak woman who wants to sacrifice another family member in order to stay alive. She cannot be called a mother because she is ready to allow somebody to kill her daughter. It is known that Tessie was always excited about the annual lottery and did not protest against it. However, when her name was drawn she began to protest that the lottery was unfair. It is interesting to note that Tessie arrived late to the lottery and told that she entirely forgot what day it was. May be, this fact was connected with her murder. The villagers did not listen to her speech, they ignored it, they wanted her to be quite and to follow the oldest tradition. Nobody helped her. (Jackson, 1982, p.41)

Time Era
Time era represented in the literary works is not one and the same. The Lottery takes place in 1948, and The House on Mango Street can be referred to 1984.

In conclusion, it is necessary to say that both literary works develop the theme of human values and struggles for better life. However, it is not always possible to change the established rules in the society. The issues discussed in the essay can prove the fact that these two literary works have very much in common. They analyze human nature and oppose the established traditions.
Berger, P.(2006) The Lottery. Blue Valley Times. Retrieved
August 22, 2006
Cisneros, S.(1989) The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage.
Jackson, S.(1982) The Lottery and other Stories. New York: Vintage.
Lenthem, J.(2007) The Lottery. Monstrous Acts and Little Murders. Salon.
Mesic, P.(1984) A Review of the House on Mango Street. Booklist. New York.


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