Futuristic Society Essay

1547 words - 7 pages

Dystopian stories, although thrilling and intriguing, raise contemporary issues that can be applied to our modern day society. Dystopian short stories raise contemporary issues directly and indirectly through the various literary elements of the story. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut both raise contemporary issues that help us evaluate our society and the different problems we encounter. Both of these authors do a great job of illustrating dehumanization and a false sense of equality through these issues as well.
In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, the plot and characters are the driving force behind these contemporary issues. This short story takes ...view middle of the document...

This shows the vulnerability of following ritualized actions in our modern society. Our modern day society has many terrible rituals that are followed and practiced without using common sense and rationality. College students lose their lives over hazing and incidents at parties. In South America, people annually participate in a bull run that ends up in hundreds of people hurt and possibly killed. Events like these are simply inhumane and dangerous. However, just like the community in Jackson’s short story, people of modern day society blindly follow inhumane traditions without thinking about the dangers that it involves.
In this short story by Jackson, we see a contemporary issue of man vs. man. In this short story, Mr. Summers is the powerful figure that dominates the people of this community. Mr. Summers not only makes the slips of paper for the lottery, but he draws them too. The people of this town have simply accepted this ritual and Mr. Summers’ leadership of conducting the lottery annually. Mr. Summer has the ultimate power to stop this lottery and this inhumane tradition that takes a persons life each time the lottery occurs. This shows the inhumanity of a man versus another man. In our society today, we see this man versus man inhumanity occur more as time goes on. We see newspapers or news reports of a man killing another man for as something as little as stealing twenty dollars. Jackson uses the power of Mr. Summers to show how much of a mess our society is and is continually becoming. People are beaten and murdered like it is nothing these days. Jackson does a tremendous job of showing the shady side of human nature by the power of Mr. Summers. Also, by using Mr. Summers and his power in this short story, Jackson shows the danger of society when authority goes unimpeded. In our modern day society, we see the authority abuse power which places citizens in danger. For example, we hear about policemen taking their authority too far and hurting or killing someone. Videos surface of police officers pulling somebody over and taking their frustrations out with violence and cruelty. Our society connects with this dystopian story more than we would like to think.
Lastly, Jackson raises the contemporary issues of what happens in society when a person gives in to what the mass majority is doing. In this short story, people follow each other and give in to this horrid lottery. Nobody speaks out or rebels; they simply follow what everyone else is doing. At the end of the story, Jackson shows this issue by saying, “The children had stones already, and someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles” (Jackson 252). Even little children had no problem with this lottery. The people of this community should have morals and values that hold them back from participating in such inhumane events. In our society, many people have no morals, social values, or religious values that keep them from doing something terrible such as cruelty or violence....

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