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Selfishness, Influence And Survival As Main Features Of Human Nature In The Veldt, The Most Dangerous Game And The Lottery

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Life is all about making choices. Sometimes making the wrong choices can have a negative impact on life. Human nature is a prime example of life choices. Human nature is more than just feelings and compassion, it’s instinct, a way of living, the way someone was raised to think or believe. This has been portrayed in a plethora of different events based on 3 short stories conveying the contrasting characteristics such as selfishness, influence, and survival.

Selfishness is everywhere in this world and is heavily portrayed throughout “The Veldt”. The act of being selfish would be a person showing a lack of consideration for others but instead focusing or concentrating on oneself. Throughout the story, it’s known that Wendy and Peter were raised solely on technology. This created a different version of the family that George and Lydia did not appreciate. After learning of their parent’s new mindset, the children took it upon themselves to express their anger and selfishness in more ways imaginable. Towards the end of the story, Peter says, Don’t let them do it! Don’t let father kill everything,” (Bradbury). That shows just how manipulative and selfish those kids are. Not only that but because Peter couldn’t take that George wanted a better life for them, peter and Wendy decided that the best option would be to kill their parents. It’s hard to tell who would be to blame here after learning this is how they lived their whole lives. Technology is all they know. In the second to last page, it reads, “You’ve let this room and this house replace you and your wife in your children’s affections. This room is their mother and father,” (Bradbury).

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It’s easy to be influenced as a child. That’s why it’s always better to watch the surrounding people. Influential actions and deeds can leave long-lasting impressions on someone’s mind or body, unfortunately not all lasting impressions are good. There can be negative impressions that can impact life in ways unlikeable. An example of a negative influence would be General Zaroff in “The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. General Zaroff influenced Rainsford to go against his beliefs and play his twisted game. In the beginning, when Zaroff and Rainsford met for the first time, Rainsford believed General was great. That is until it was revealed that Zaroff was a psychopath who hunted actual human beings. On the fifth page, Zaroff says, “…I’m a hunter, not a murderer,” (Connell). Rainsford did not agree with Zaroff’s new way of thinking at all. He saw what Zaroff was doing as murder. General Zaroff and Ivan gave Rainsford a chance to play his game. At first, he was skeptical about the whole idea of being hunted by General Zaroff. Soon enough, Rainsford gave in and decided to play, not only that but he played to his best abilities. As the game is being played, Zaroff’s killer ways are influencing Rainsford to do things he would never do. In the end, Rainsford used his knowledge if hunting and won the game. Its known how Rainsford changed throught the story, because in the end he wanted revenge and ended up murdering both Ivan and general Zaroff. “One of us is to furnish a repast for the hounds. The other will sleep in this very excellent bed. On guard, Rainsford….” He had never slept in a better bed, Rainsford decided,” (Connell).

Most people will do anything to survive, even if it means to kill others. Survival is about staying alive, even through the toughest challenges in life. This is one of the main themes in the story “The Lottery”. The first few pages reveal what it’s like to follow a tradition every year; but not just any tradition, the lottery tradition. The lottery is based around a small town of people that hosts an annual “lottery” every year. The best part about it is that the “winner” gets stoned to death! The children would start collecting their stones and prepare themselves for what’s to come. Old Man Warner does not believe the lottery should still be conducted the way it is. On the first page, it reads, “The original paraphernalia for the lottery had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Warner, the oldest man in town was born,” (Jackson) Some of the citizens were not always happy about the results, but there was never anything they could do about it. It’s their tradition. Originally Bill Hutchinson received the black slip, but Tessie argued that he did not receive enough time to select a slip. Which caused them to draw again and unfortunately Tessie received the black dot. The readers are also reminded about how they’ve forgotten their ways. “Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones,” (Jackson) These are all examples of how people will do whatever it takes to survive another day.

In the end, we find out that one’s human nature will almost always impact life. Human nature, even if it’s more negative than positive. In today’s society, compared to when these stories were written, the readers were exposed to how things have drastically changed. Anyone can be influenced, selfish, or forced to survive, but it’s mostly about how far someone will go to achieve those things.

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Selfishness, Influence And Survival As Main Features Of Human Nature In The Veldt, The Most Dangerous Game And The Lottery. (2021, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“Selfishness, Influence And Survival As Main Features Of Human Nature In The Veldt, The Most Dangerous Game And The Lottery.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2021,
Selfishness, Influence And Survival As Main Features Of Human Nature In The Veldt, The Most Dangerous Game And The Lottery. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Sept. 2023].
Selfishness, Influence And Survival As Main Features Of Human Nature In The Veldt, The Most Dangerous Game And The Lottery [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 25 [cited 2023 Sept 28]. Available from:
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