Roles of the Sexes With both stories being relatively short, it is easier to compare them to some extent. “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “Finishing Schools” by Maya Angelou, both share similar themes amongst them. In the short story “The Lottery”, there were many themes but one of the ideas that caught my attention was the topic of sexism. The same issue could be identified in the story “Finishing School” The two characters in both stories were dealing with some sort of sexist problem. In the story of Maya Angelou, the character was dealing with both difficulties revolving around sexism and racism throughout the story.
In Shirley Jackson’s story, it was mainly about the roles of sexes and how basically all of the men went out to work etc. The way these stories share this comparable theme is that. In “The Lottery” everyone who picked a ticket for the family was male. This shows that the males were essentially in charge and not the women. When Mrs. Hutchinson, or by her first name Tessie, was chosen to be stoned to death, she yelled out numerous times “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right”. Another way the theme of sexism can be seen in this story is when Mr.
Summers consults his list and says ‘”Clyde Dunbar”. “That’s right. He’s broke his leg, hasn’t he? Who’s drawing for him? ” “Me. I guess,” a woman said. ’ Here Mr. Summers turns to look at her and says “Wife draws for her husband? ”, “Don’t you have a grown boy to do it for you, Janey? ” As you can see, the townsfolk are pretty serious about having the ‘man of the family’ draw the paper slip out of the box. Even though this is a task that anyone can do, women aren’t seen as important enough to do it. According to them, you have to have a male pick it.
On the other hand, “Finishing School” by Maya Angelou has a similar perception of women but it is not centered on the lottery. A few good illustrations to prove the theme of the story is on sexism, is when she says the following “But Miss Glory wouldn’t let me say a thing against her mistress. ” This comes to show that she was being ruled by someone superior than her, since Margaret was an African American. A few paragraphs later, it shows Margaret setting down a tray and then a lady asks “What’s your name, girl? ” Mrs. Cullinan she replies “She doesn’t talk much.
Her name’s Margaret. ” This shows how Mrs. Cullinan takes over the conversation, not letting Margaret come up and have a chance to talk to the lady. Margaret was being treated not as a maid but as a slave in the house. With no rights whatsoever, she quit her job and left. Both stories talk about the power of a person having against the town or in the house. The males have all the power, the women’s weren’t allowed to be part of selecting the vote in the lottery and in “Finishing School”, Mrs. Cullinan was the leader of the house and gets everything they way she wants it.
In both stories, there were many similarities, but there were also many differences. One major difference that can be seen is that in “The Lottery”, the townspeople were all Caucasian, with no African American insight. In the “Finishing School”, Margaret the African American was the only colored person in the household. This led her to become the slave of the house, even though she works there. In “The Lottery” they were doing a tradition that was held each year, where the males were the only one to participate in the selection of the tickets.
No one cared about the males taking over in the story, but in the world we live in today, women know that they can take part in the lottery regardless of their gender. Also, when Tessie was the lucky winner she was yelling out excuses that “it wasn’t fair” and that she wanted a redo on the vote. However no one listened to her and she was then stoned to death. In the other story it is very different, there was no lottery involved and it instead revolved around a woman who didn’t have many rights in the house she lived in. Although this story was mainly about race, it also touches on the issue of sexism.
In conclusion, the themes in both “The Lottery” and “Finishing School” involve the women’s struggle for equality. The word sexism basically means discrimination against the women’s rights. In “The Lottery”, sexism plays a big part in the storyline. Two reasons were that Tessie wasn’t being listened to at the end of the story and lastly the men were the only ones taking charge of the town. In “Finishing School”, it talks about race and sexism. Fundamentally, it is women against women, where one takes charge over another’s existence. There were some differences between the two, although they have the same basic themes in common with each other.