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“Those Winter Sundays” and “The Lottery”

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Jayden Robert and Shirley Jackson are renowned of short stories. This paper compares and contrasts the poem, “Those Winter Sunday” by Jayden Robert and the fiction short story, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson. It is true that both the texts share certain features as pieces of literature and in some way, they have major differences too. This paper compares and contrasts the two texts focusing on the theme of family ties, the use of symbols and images to represent events, and the representation of characters.

From both texts, there is the discussion of family ties. The poem talks about a father’s love for his family. The love is evident when the father wakes up on Sundays to keep his family warm from the cold (stanza 1, Line 1 and Line 2). In the end of the poem, we are also told of the way the adult child reciprocates the love by his realization of his father’s unspoken love (stanza 3, line 4 and 5). The poem is in a setting of a home just to emphasize on matters of family. Family ties are also present in “The Lottery.” When the children come to the square for the rituals, they gather according to their families. Names are called of family members from the head of the family to the smallest of the children (line 3, pg 1).

From both the texts, we see the role of a father as told by Mrs. Hutchinson. She finds herself all alone in the house. When she reaches the town square she gets into a conversation with Mrs. Delacroix, she says, “Thought that my old man was outback stacking wood” (Line 3, pg 2). This shows the role of a man from this story. The man does the work of ensuring that the family is comfortable. This is also similar to the poem where a father wakes up early during the week and on a Sunday too still wakes up to keep the family warm from the cold by lighting the fire. Both the texts show that men work hard to care, provide, and protect their families.

Another similarity involves the use of symbols and images to represent events in both texts. From the fiction, the Lottery there is the use of a symbol in the form of a black box. This box represents the traditions of the people (line 5, pg 1). Whoever breaks the rule from the black box is punished by the whole society irrespective of the family affiliations. The whole community guards the black box. Another symbol is the word Lottery, which represents acts or ideas passed from one generation to the next, and they are those that members of society never question. The poem uses imagery in its description of the weather conditions at the time the father wakes up to light the fire, “I would wake and hear the cold splintering breaking, and this gives the image of the cold situation out there while the house remains warm.” (Pg 3, line 4)

Both authors employ the use of real characters to represent a certain trait or behavior. From the poem, the poet uses the picture of a father and a child and the relationship they have. He has succeeded in creating the character since he portrays the picture of a loving father who goes out of his way to ensure the family is safe and warm too. The lottery also uses words to create characters. In as much as these are not facts under discussion, the text shows the character of Tessie as that of a very innocent character that does not deserve to be killed in the story. This creation of characters always ensures that the message by the author passes over to the readers in both cases.

From the texts, there are differences that come up. We are told of the unspoken love in the poem. The father loves his family and it is not seen from what he says rather what he does for the family to ensure they are comfortable. This is not the same as in the Lottery story where the love for family is evident. When Tessie arrives at the square she join her family, the love is seen in the anticipation in the other members of the family as she makes her way through the crowd. She also loves her family and protests at the way he has been treated unfairly by Mr. Summers. She says, “You didn’t give him enough time to choose the paper he wanted, it’s unfair.”(pg 5, line 5) The father’s love for the family is also appreciated in kind. In this way, we see that Mrs. Hutchinson is busy doing dishes while the husband she thinks is stacking the wood at the backyard. Unlike in the story the father in the poem by Jayden is not appreciated. Nobody from the family thanks him for his efforts to provide for the family. From the last line of the last stanza, “no one thanked him” (Stanza 3, line 1)

There is also difference from the settings of the texts. The lottery is in the settings of a hot weather in summer where there is sun up already as people prepare for the ritual. On the other end, the poem is in the settings of a winter season where it is very cold. Both settings are effective to pass the message intended by both the writers of these texts as they are dwelt on a great deal.
In conclusion, there are similarities and differences that are presented in these texts. Both texts talk about family ties discussing the roles and relationships of family members. The use of symbols and images is evident in both texts. The Lottery uses a black box to symbolize rules and regulations that the society must adapt as well as punishments to law breakers in the society. Imagery is used to describe the weather conditions and the setting of the poem. Some of the differences in the two texts include the setting and the expression of love, which is evident in the Lottery unlike in the poem.

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