Comparison and contrast of the short stories the lottery and the rocking-horse winner

In literature, authors have the power and authority to use different settings and literal devices to present their ideas and cases to their readers. In the short story “the rocking-horse winner” and “the lottery” the authors provides two different sets of setting to emphasize the state of being in the story as well as driving their messages across. However, on the other hand, the authors also employ different settings of the short stories to distract the reader and the other to build their stories.

Assignment outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Summary of the short story “The Lottery.”
    2. Summary of the short story “The Rocking-Horse Winner “
  2. The lottery
    1. The use of settings as a distraction from the main point
    2. The use of settings of the short story as pleasant
  • The rocking-horse winner
    1. The use of setting of the short story to build and create the author’s ideas and concepts
    2. The use of setting to get the attention of his readers and to lure them to the story
  1. Major differences in the two short stories
  2. Conclusion

Comparison and contrast of the short stories the lottery and the rocking-horse winner

Summary of the short story “The Lottery.”

Any author tries to use the settings of his or her work to attract their readers, and as a result, there is a high probability that they use captivating words and settings.  The story takes place in a small town in England, and it revolves around a small village of about 300 people who meet for the lottery which takes approximately two hours. Mr. Summers has the obligation of running the lottery in the square because he has a lot of time to do things for the village.  Mr. Summer and Mr. Graves mix the lottery papers in the black box, and the play begins as every family head is required to pick one paper. After every family has participated in the exercise, it emerged that Bill Hutchinson has got it (Lambert, 2014).  However, they find out that Tessie who was protesting that the lottery was not fair had drawn the paper with a black dot and everyone starts throwing stones at her.  It is worth noting that the lottery has nothing to do with winning prizes but rather a death.

Summary of the short story “The Rocking-Horse Winner “

“The Rocking-Horse Winner “focuses on telling a story of Paul, a son of Hester, who becomes concerned about the family financial situation and is ready to do anything to help his mother who is always complaining that she is not lucky. As a result, Paul is forced to start riding his rocking-horse obsessively and furiously as he believes that it can take him to luck and in turn help his mother.  With time, he develops a habit of placing bets on horse races whenever he knows who will win and everyone in the town wonders and become curious about where he is getting his information (Tian, 2015). He wins five grand which he gives to his mother thinking that she would be happy, but that was not the case.  When the biggest race approached, Paul was over excited and stressed and was unable to contain these feelings and he but eventually dies at night.

The author of the story “The Lottery” uses settings to distract the readers so that he can create a sarcastic conclusion.  The settings of the novel show families who are happy gathering at the square both young and old, all with the aim of participating in the act of sacrificing one of their own.  Based on the description of events and objects by the author, the reader may be tempted to think that the story if full of life and will have a happy ending which is not the case (Lambert, 2014). As the reader goes on to read the story, he or she realizes the lottery is all about death and not a jackpot or a present.

On the other hand, the author of the short story “The Rocking-Horse Winner” uses the settings of the story to build the foundation of the whole story. To start with, the author uses a real town in England that gives the story more sense and meaning. The author goes on to describe events and objects in the story such as the horse races, making the reader feel like part of the story (Tian, 2015). The impression of the settings of the story goes hand in hand with the story itself by letting the reader form parts of the real life details of horse races.

However, the settings of both stories are convincing and may exist in real life situation, and this presents the only similarities between the settings of the two short stories. Notably, the author of the lottery uses his setting to distract his readers from figuring out the main idea of the story as well as the ending and conclusion of the same. On the other hand, Lawrence uses his settings to bring as many readers on board as possible and to make his story as attractive as possible. Thus, the two stories indicate how settings of any story are important in understanding the story itself.


Lambert, S. (2014). New Historicism ENGL 305: Literary Theory and Writing November 19,                   2014 Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” as a Response to the Hypocrisy of Capital                                    Punishment in the.

Tian, N. (2015). On the Alienation of the Mother’s Image in DH Lawrence’s> The            Rocking-Horse Winner<[application of Fromm’s theories to art].

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