The Lottery and The Hunger Games Comparison

Subject: Literature
Type: Compare and Contrast Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 876
Topics: Book, The Hunger Games, The Lottery

Have you read a narrative and found yourself relating specific themes or concepts to other novels? The more you read it, the more familiar it becomes. For example, the stories “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins have notable connections despite their sixty-year publishing gap. Both authors emphasize the risks of mindlessly adhering to tradition, which might result in death, terror, and a lack of social advancement. They have, however, used different literary devices to bring out their main ideas in the stories. Therefore, both stories exhibit some similarities and differences in the plot, writing style, artistic context, and historical context.

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The “Lottery” and “The Hunger Games” have similar plots. The plot of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins are similar as both stories feature a lottery that determines who will be chosen for a deadly event. However, there are also several key differences between the two plots. “The Lottery” is set in a small town where the residents have been holding a lottery for years, and it is unclear why they continue to do so (Jackson, 1988). “The Hunger Games” is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the lottery is used to select tributes who must compete in a televised fight to the death (Dzikriya, 2019). In both stories, there is a way of choosing who will die. Still, in the “Lottery,” it is seen as a tradition that the community must follow, even though it is not clear why, while in “The Hunger Games”, it is a way of ensuring that the population does not rebel against the government.


The authors of “The Hunger Games” and “The Lottery” employ various literary styles, which can be compared and contrasted in expository, persuasive, and descriptive writing. “The Lottery” and “The Hunger Games” both use expository writing to explain the rules and premise of their respective stories. “The Lottery” describes how the villagers select one person to be sacrificed yearly (Jackson, 1988). On the other hand, “The Hunger Games” explains how the tributes are chosen and how the games are played. Both stories also use persuasive writing to make their respective points. “The Lottery” attempts to convince the reader that the lottery is a necessary evil, whereas “The Hunger Games” tries to convince the reader that the games must be vicious as a tradition. Finally, both stories use descriptive writing to depict the setting and the characters. The author of “The Lottery” describes the village and the people who live there. However, the author of “The Hunger Games” describes the arena and the tributes who compete in the games (Dzikriya, 2019).

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Historical Context

The historical context of “The Lottery” and “The Hunger Games” can be compared and contrasted due to some factors. The first factor is their purposes. Both books have used the practices as a means of social control. However, “The Lottery” focuses on maintaining order within a community, while “The Hunger Games” are designed to keep the population in check. The second factor to consider is the period in which each author created their piece. “The Lottery” was written in 1948, and “The Hunger Games” was written in 2008. However, “The Lottery” is set in a period that is much closer to our present. This notion gives the reader a better sense of connection to the characters and the events in the story (Jackson, 2021). On the other hand, “The Hunger Games” is set in a period that is much further in the future. This information can make it difficult for the reader to connect with the characters and events (Collins, 2010).

Artistic Context

Comparing and contrasting the art context of “The Lottery” and “The Hunger Games” can be done by looking at a few key factors. The first factor is the genre of each piece. “The Lottery” is a short story, and “The Hunger Games” is a novel. It means that “The Hunger Games” is much longer and has more time to develop the characters and the plot. “The Lottery is shorter and does not have as much time to develop the characters and the plot (Jackson, 1988). This notion can make “The Lottery” seem like a snapshot of a moment in time, while “The Hunger Games” can seem more like a complete picture. Another factor is the audience. “The Lottery” was written for a general audience, while “The Hunger Games” was written for a young adult audience. It means that “The Hunger Games” is written at a lower level and is easier to understand (Collins, 2010). “The Lottery” is written at a higher level and can be more challenging to understand. This information can make “The Lottery” seem more like a work of art, while “The Hunger Games” can seem more like a fiction story.


In conclusion, despite a sixty-year publishing difference, “The Lottery” and “The Hunger Games” have several things in common. Both authors emphasize the perils of mindlessly following tradition, which can lead to death, dread, and stagnation in society. The authors of these books have used different or comparable plots, styles, historical backgrounds, and artistic settings to highlight the key concepts in their respective works. Through the comparison, we can understand how they relate even though they were written in different periods and by different authors.

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  1. Collins, S. (2010). Mockingjay (Hunger Games, Book Three). Scholastic Inc.
  2. Dzikriya, U. (2019). Analysis of Actantial Model in Suzanne Collins “The Hunger Games.” Rainbow: Journal of Literature, Linguistics and Culture Studies8(2), 85-94.
  3. Jackson, S. (1988). The Lottery. Robinson.
  4. Jackson, S. (2021). The Lottery. In the Mind’s Eye (pp. 43-54). Routledge.
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