Shirley Jackson’s story “The lottery” is a short story which aroused a controversy and was greatly criticized in 1948 due to its publication. The author uses irony and aspects of comedy to expose the underlying hypocrisy, evil and weakness of human beings. The lottery is a traditional yearly event where one person in town is chosen randomly and violently stoned to death. Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of Christ” is a movie which is acted to promote faithfulness with regard to the Gospel.
The actor emphasizes on informing the viewers on how God experienced suffering just as human beings through scene of injustice, fear, pain and eventually suffering a bloody and degrading death. His movie is a call to repentance through the wounds and pain that Jesus suffered to redeem humanity from sin.
The film begins with some quotations such as he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for the people’s inequities, his punishment brought him peace and that by his wounds mankind is healed.
This shows that the death of Christ had a positive influence to mankind unlike the lottery which inflicted pain without any reason or sin by the individual. This is a tradition which was passed by time and is not beneficial to the society. In fact, the author states that they had forgotten some of the procedures involved and the black box ought to be replaced by a new one, this shows that the people stuck to traditions just for fear of being excommunicated from the community (Bakerman 200).
The writer uses a friendly language as he describes the social atmosphere on the ground of the lottery and also during the presentation proceedings. The lottery is conducted in an orderly manner and the villagers seem to anticipate for the end of the lottery. The reader is only surprised to learn that the magnanimous occasion was intended to cause death to one of them by stoning (Bakerman 200). On the other hand, the passion of Christ is a bloody movie which passes on an explicit message to the viewers on the good news of Jesus Christ. The movie is supernatural as it Jesus claims to be the son of god. The sanctity of Jesus death is shown by his resurrection. Unlike the lottery where people celebrate other people’s demise, the Passion of Christ viewers mourn Jesus death and celebrate his resurrection.
Garber (50) asserts that the passion of Christ is a reminder that God brought light to the dark world though the painful death of his son. This is an indication that god works within the garbage of our culture and garbage in our soul so as to free us from slavery. Through his resurrection all of us are equal regardless of our tribe or cultural background even those who crucified him. Similarly, the members of the society in “The Lottery” ought to be delivered from their oppressive cultures which they seem to have forgotten some parts to show that failure to follow all the procedure due to forgetfulness renders the whole procedure meaningless and having no strong base.
Both the short story and the movie have characters who are opposed to the activities taking place. In the movie, Pontius Pilate is depicted as a non bloody governor of the history but he shows the characters of a civilized and humane leader who is tormented by the burden of power. This is because he tries again and again to save Jesus from the crucifixion which the priests demanded (Garber 51). This was in vain since the public demand to crucify him and save Barabbas had to be met. According to Bakerman (201) Jackson uses Mrs. Hutchinson to show the people in the society who are consumed by weakness and hypocrisy to stand up against the uncivilized beliefs. Mrs. Hutchinson arrives late and claims to have forgotten what day it was due to her numerous house chores. She further continues to make comments in fear that her family will draw the paper with a black dot. She continues to complain about the unfairness of the ritual up to her death. It is evident that in any kind of unfair activity in the society, some people are opposed to them but lack the autonomy to speak out in fear of the authority.
The passion of Christ is a beautiful but brutal movie which is a masterpiece of cinematic arts. The movie is generally gut-wrenching, excruciating and drains one emotionally. The movie is shockingly violent as it depicts the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus Christ (Garber 52). The movie is not an entertainment as Mr. Gibson real intentions were for the audience to identify with Jesus. Similarly, the story is a reflection of the authors’ literature skills with the aim of depicting the weaknesses in the human kind and following of baseless traditions. He is able to create suspense through out the story and mixes anxiety and fear in a way that the reader cannot really tell what this lottery is all about. Jackson is giving a wake up call to the human race to disapprove and do away with norms and traditions which are not in accordance with the religious beliefs.
The short story and the movie share some similarities and differences since they both have a similar view on the society we live in. Jesus was killed due to the selfishness of the high priests and Mrs. Hutchinson died due to the primitiveness of his society following a tradition passed by time. The author and the actor both call up on the people to embrace change just like Jesus did on the cross and saved mankind from sin.
Bakerman, J. And Then There Were Nine: More women of Mystery. Popular Press Publishers, 1985.
Garber, Z. Mel Gibson’s Passion: The Film, The controversy and its Implications. Boston: Purdue University Press, 2006.
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