Please give me a thesis statement to compare the order of events in "A Rose for Emily" and "The Lottery."

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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These are two great short stories to think about in terms of how both authors structure the plot and order events. Of course, the clear comparison to focus on is the way in which both stories delay giving us shocking information that the rest of the plot leads up to. Whether it is an admission of necrophilia in the case of Miss Emily, or a ritual blood sacrifice of a community of one of their number, both tales shock us through their endings and the way in which they gradually reveal the depth of what horrendous acts we as humans are capable of committing. Consider the final sentence of "The Lottery":

"It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her. 

With this final utterance, we realise what the rest of the story has been pointing towards: the lottery is not some quaint old fashioned village tradition, but a throwback to a savage, primeval religion that demands a blood sacrifice in return for good crops. In the same way, the final, grisly discovery in "A Rose for Emily" reveals at once the depth of disturbing love that Miss Emily had for Homer Barron as she lay next to his corpse for so long.

A suitable thesis statement to analyse these elements could therefore be:

Both "A Rose for Emily" and "The Lottery" carefully delay the most shocking element of the plot until the very end of the story in order to increase their impact.

This thesis statement will allow you to look at how the authors have carefully ordered the information that they give us and how it leads up to a crushing finale. 


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