What are some similarities and differences in the scapegoats and how they are used in "The Lottery" and "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas?"

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writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In both stories, the scapegoats are chosen to bring fortune to the rest of the town. And, in both stories they are chosen somewhat randomly. In "The Lottery," though, anyone is eligible to "win" the lottery, and everyone understands what they are participating in. The scapegoat sacrifices his or her life by stoning for the town. Also, in "The Lottery," the meaning behind the tradition has been lost. They know that it has something to do with the crops, but the full meaning has been lost.

In "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas,"  the scapegoat is a child. The child is not killed, but rather locked away and punished for the length of his or her life for the crimes and sins of the city. Also, in Omelas, you must reached a certain age before you are made aware of the existence of a scapegoat, and then must choose to either 1)ignore the inhumanity of the practice and remain in the town or 2)leave forever. Its not about the rigid adherence to meaningless traditions, but rather about accepting the mistreatment of one for the reward of many.