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Compare and contrast the main conflict and resolution of the stories "Lucero" and "The...

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john18 | Honors

Posted September 18, 2013 at 11:56 PM via web

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Compare and contrast the main conflict and resolution of the stories "Lucero" and "The Lottery Ticket." 

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 19, 2013 at 9:50 PM (Answer #1)

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The conflict in "Lucero" is essentially to do with luck. Since both Ruben and the traveler fired at the same time, neither is in the wrong. The internal conflict is something Ruben must face if he loses chance with the coin. The conflict in "The Lottery Ticket" is first whether or not Ivan and his wife will win. But more importantly, the conflict becomes Ivan's thoughts on what to do with the winnings versus his wife's hopes. Although the conflicts are different, Ruben, and Ivan and his wife, end up with mostly internal conflicts. These conflicts are resolved through random chance. 

The biggest similarity in terms of the resolution of "Lucero" and "The Lottery Ticket" is that the resolutions in both depend on luck or chance. Ruben Olmos and another traveler are face to face on a path that is only wide enough for one horse to pass. Since they both fired warning shots (to warn the other that he was embarking on the path), they essentially flip a coin to decide who continues on foot and who continues on horseback. Ruben loses and he must push his horse, Lucero, over the edge into the ravine below.There is the external conflict between the two travelers but the internal conflict becomes Ruben's as he must abide by the coin and sacrifice Lucero. 

In "The Lottery Ticket," Ivan and his wife have what might be a winning lottery ticket. At first, they love the thrill that they might win. However, after daydreaming about how his wife will be a nuisance with the money and about how relatives will beg for handouts, Ivan comes to hope that the ticket will be a losing one. His wife has similar daydreams. He gets his wish: 

Her husband understood her look; hatred began stirring again in his breast, and in order to annoy his wife he glanced quickly, to spite her at the fourth page on the newspaper and read out triumphantly:

"Series 9,499, number 46! Not 26!" 

Even though Ivan is presently surprised that it is a losing ticket (thereby negating any arguments over the winning money and dealing with beggars), he inevitably is distraught. After speculating about a wealthier, more comfortable life, he's left feeling deflated. He no longer is "satisfied with his lot." His hopes had been raised and defeated, leaving him (and presumably his wife) feeling dissatisfied with his life. 

In both stories, the resolution (or denouement) of the conflict(s) are resolved by random luck. The tension is raised by the sheer randomness of the climax in both stories: a 50/50 chance on a coin and a lottery. In both cases, the result is failure. Olmos loses Lucero; Ivan and his wife lose the hope of a better future albeit one with potential arguments and greedy relatives. 

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