ThesisI want to start a thesis that will tie the setting and symbols in "A Farewell to Arms" and "the Lottery" together. Would death be a good subject?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Another avenue to consider in a comparison between "The Lottery" and "Farewell to Arms" is the acceptable use of violence and its effects on the characters.  Compare and contrast, using the authors' diction, the portrayal of violence in both stories. 

Another twist would be to add a third novel--likeThe Hunger Games,which criticizes violence and uses a lottery system. 

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vangoghfan | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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One way to deal with death in both works might be to compare and contrast their endings.  The death depicted by Jackson is shocking and ironic and is presented in thoroughly unsentimental terms. There is even a sense in which Tessie, who has not objected to the lottery, suffers a fate that she has, in a way, chosen. In contrast, the death of Catherine at the end of Hemingway's novel is meant to seem tragic and emotionally devastating to the reader. Catherine's death is also ironic in some ways (e.g., she escapes to Switzerland, only to die while trying to give birth), but certainly not in the same way that Tessie's is.  The tones of the two endings also significantly differ.  The more I think about this topic, the more I think that it offers some promise if you are trying to tie the two works together by examining the theme of death.  Good luck with your project!

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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You might look at the "farewell" theme that is common to both as each has a character to whom farewell is given. You might explore the emotional impact of the two kinds of unpleasant farewells.

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

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You might want to look at the theme of existentialism and analyse how this is presented in both texts, in particular through the disenchantment of characters with traditional institutions and authority. We can see this easily through the characters in Hemmingway's classic, but you also might like to think about how Old Man Warner in "The Lottery" presents other villages as having turned away from the lottery and tradition. This might be a valid link that you could usefully exploit.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Perhaps you could examine the questioning that exists in both narratives of the validity of leaders and institutions along with the disregard of the individual.  In a sense, then, the characters of Frederic Henry and Tessie Hutchinson share some commonality.  For, both Frederic and Mrs. Hutchinson react to their own collections of experience.

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I would expand into a little more sophisticated analysis. Why is death significant in the story? Why are the people being killed? What does it say about the society? Once you have pulled that theme out, consider how the symbolism in the story relates to it. Reading the notes on this story would be a great start! Here's a link: http://www.enotes.com/lottery
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helpwithlit | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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I would expand into a little more sophisticated analysis. Why is death significant in the story? Why are the people being killed? What does it say about the society? Once you have pulled that theme out, consider how the symbolism in the story relates to it. Reading the notes on this story would be a great start! Here's a link: http://www.enotes.com/lottery

I think what symbolizes death is what I'm trying to make important.  The rain throughout the story I believe is a symbol of death.  Also in the Lottery the black box and the black dot, represent the death that is to come.

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helpwithlit | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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I have to compare and contrast the setting and symbolism that are used within both stories.  I know rain is used as a symbol of death in "A Farewell to Arms" and the black box, and black dot in "The Lottery".  The setting in both stories prepares of for the death that is to come.  I am having a hard time putting the thesis together.  This is what I have started with.

Through both symbolism and setting both Ernest Hemingway and Shirley Jackson are able to portray an image of death throughout their stories in "A Farewell to Arms" and "The Lottery".

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