Both Suzanne Collins and Shirley Jackson illustrate society's propensity for violence and cruelty, as well as humanity's inherent desire to carry on outdated traditions and customs. In Suzanne Collins's novel The Hunger Games, the Capitol of Panem requires each district to send two tributes to participate in the nationally televised Hunger Games. The annual Hunger Games have been a tradition in Panem since the First Rebellion and the authoritarian regime uses the games to oppress and threaten the masses. The Hunger Games is a violent competition, where twenty-four children between the ages of 12-18 fight to the death in various environments while their home districts root for their hometown tributes. Weapons are given to the contestants and brutality reigns supreme in the Hunger Games arena. The majority of Panem's citizens enjoy watching the savage contest, but Katniss opposes the senseless violence. Suzanne Collins explores society's capacity to carry on savage traditions like the Hunger Games and humanity's affinity for violence and brutality throughout her novel.
Similarly, Shirley Jackson examines society's affinity for brutality and traditions. In Jackson's short story "The Lottery," residents of a small New England village place their names into a black box, where Mr. Summers, the lottery's official, randomly draws a slip of paper with each citizen's name on it. A second lottery is then conducted from the randomly selected household and the slip with the black dot on it indicates the specific family member that will be stoned by the community. The stoning of an innocent community member is both startling and deeply disturbing. The fact that friendly neighbors can casually throw stones at their defenseless neighbor illustrates society's affinity for violence and brutality. The annual lottery also reflects humanity's desire to create and follow traditions and customs. In both of their celebrated works, Suzanne Collins and Shirley Jackson depict humanity's inherently violent nature as well as people's capacity to follow outdated, brutal traditions.