Throughout history humanity has been faced with

Throughout history humanity has been faced with the conflicts of deciding what ideas are morally correct and incorrect. Conflict has always been the source of occupations, expansion and evolvement but its conflict that has fueled the values formed by the world today. In every conflict it is necessary to put long thought and analysis into the situation to accumulate the most morally favorable outcome. Therefore, the biggest issue with resolving conflict is having well thought out time. The article The Lottery (1948) by Shirley Jackson along with the movie Circle (2015) directed by Aaron Hann, both exploit the ethics of humanity in life or death scenarios and analyze human behavior in periods of critical time. The Lottery is a short story examining the ethical values of a small village through an annual draft to choose the death of one induvial to keep civilization in operation. Circle on the other hand, is a psychological thriller attempting to test the social norms of society in a time pressing situation to a sudden death. Both pieces of work exhibit a greater powers ability to control and influence society to make illogical decisions in time pressing situations affecting the ethics of the society.
Time is a contributing factor to the central theme in The Lottery. Jackson uses time as a component to express how for most societies time is more important than wellbeing. In the ever-growing and expanding society of the 21st century, time has been constructed as the main priority for most humans. Within the short story Jackson makes an effort to show the readers how lost in time a society can become to where ethics and ideas that are considered morally correct have no rational meaning. In the introduction paragraph, Jackson narrates the story from a 3rd person all-knowing standpoint, therefore explicitly avoiding any true human thoughts and feelings to dehumanize the characters and perceive them as nothing more than savage. The author first incorporates the idea that time bypasses logic when discussing that the villagers hope to be done before noon to have enough time to make it home for lunch, “the whole lottery took less than two hours, so it could begin at ten o’clock in the morning and still be through in time to allow the villagers to get home for noon dinner”(Jackson 1). The villagers have no empathy or compassion for the induvial that will get stoned within the given hour, they are only concerned with getting it over with regardless of how brutal it may be. Deprivation of compassion has become a recent flaw in society in the sense that not many people are willing to give up time to help the others, mostly because in helping others there is no personal gain. Time triumphs logic throughout the story because even at the beginning when the lottery has yet to begin the villagers are more concerned with getting home for lunch even though everyone has an equal chance of being chosen. Instead of feeling sympathy for the life being lost, the villagers are coddled in this selfish society where the decision to stone a peer is morally acceptable.
Outside of humanity time has no relative meaning. Nothing living or breathing other than human civilizations follow the laws of time. Therefore, if time is only real to humans then is time just an emotion? In the book, Felt Time : The Psychology of How We Perceive Time (2016) author Mark Wittmann describes how emotion can trigger the need to navigate time. The book goes on to further explore the idea of time, and how to better control self and time congruently, “Through mindfulness and emotional control, the tempo of life that we experience can be reduced, and we can regain time for ourselves and others” (Wittmann 101). Furthermore, the short story continues to use time as a factor when it is revealed that Tessie is the winner of this year’s lottery. As mentioned above, time is connected to a great deal of emotion and with that comes impulse. Jackson incorporates Mrs. Delacroix who is perceived as a good friend of Tessie’s but exhibits how time affects impulsive decisions and aggressive behavior, ‘”Delacroix selected a stone so large she had to pick it up with both hands and turned to Mrs. Dunbar ‘Come on,’ she said. ‘Hurry Up'”(Jackson 7). Impaired judgement allowed Mrs. Delacroix’s emotions to get in the way of her perception of time where she thought stoning Tessie would be the morally correct way to approach the situation. Tessie is sent off into an unpleasant death by the civilization she had love and compassion for just moments before. Jackson uses the climax to conclude the story allowing the reader to conclude that time has indeed run out as the crowd begins closing in on her, ‘”Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. ‘It Isn’t fair’ she said. A stone hit her on the side of the head'”(Jackson 7). The deprivation of compassion within the society is exploited in that no sympathy is shown for the life that is lost the only worry upon the society is what they will now be eating for lunch as their emotion is fueled by time. The ethical values of the society are in control of time and its way of influencing impulsive decision making.
Human civilization is constantly confronted with the question of what choices to make. If an individual chooses one idea then he or she will be put on a path, controversy if he or she chooses the other path they will go in a opposite direction. Throughout the duration of Circle time is a factor determining life or death given every two minutes someone must die, but regardless of the simulation isn’t time always a factor determining life or death? It’s ironic to see that throughout the movie panic arises when each decision must be made for those in fear of death. Even in the world we live in today one could argue your just as safe in an alien spaceship as you are on the ground. That may seem a bit extreme but every choice you make regardless of setting or time will have a factor of severe consequences for the better or worse. This is the idea of the Butterfly Effect with which humans initially choose a path causing direct consequences on the surrounding world. In the short communication The Butterfly Effect in Psychiatry: A case example, the authors Osman Ozdemir, Pinar Guzel Ozdemir, and Ekrem Yilmaz specifically address and describe the how the concept impacts society:
Complexity theory focuses on the manner in which simple systems give rise to very complicated unpredictable behavior. These key concepts principally reflect nonlinear dynamical systems that are often characterized by instability, sudden unpredictable jumps, and discontinuous change, which are also called catastrophe theory (Guzel Ozdemir, Ozdemir, and Yilmaz 34).
The individuals in the simulation face pressure due to the limited time in deciding how to stop, pause and determine who will die the next round, this is perceived as the catastrophe theory. Time is the essence of all life, the world revolves around humanities crave for more time, but if society focusses on the obsession of more time it will only pass by and death with be the ultimatum. The Butterfly Effect is essentially the explanation for impulsive decisions where an individual chooses a path and all others around pay for the consequences over time. Circle addresses this concept in that the butterfly effect is an immediate response to the voter’s choice of who to kill and who not to kill. The concept is in constant effect letting the characters decide their path but leaving them to deal with the consequences of emotionally based decisions due to lack of time.
Correspondingly, Circle is surrounded by the illusion of time as the simulation runs its course. The viewers can see throughout the movie the constant demoralization based on age, race, religion, sexuality, and contributions to society are all a direct consequence of the fear of limited time. The characters attempt to use time as a motivation to decide who is in a rightful position to live. Time spent on earth is a factor contributing to the ethical reasoning, during the first few votes they decide that killing off the older individuals would be the most reasonable way to approach the situation. Therefore, because someone has been in contact with more time on earth than another that person is most deserving to be voted to death. The greed of not having enough time takes over an individual’s thought process and fear of death is the only emotion presently remaining. In the final scenes of the movie the winner uses time to manipulate the pregnant woman and the child. By waiting until the very last few seconds to tell the young girl to step off the circle he is able to vote for the pregnant woman and finally defeat the fetus. The movie portrays how through manipulation death can be a result of unfocused of time, “It’s a game. It’s a process of elimination. The last man standing gets to walk out of here alive…Your going to have to decide for yourself. I can’t do it for you. It has to end this way. You don’t have much time”(Circle). The theme of pressured time represents itself in the final scene as a continual reminder to those going through the process to choose wisely and use the time given to make the correct decisions. Whether that is for individual gain or society is something only each contestant can determine.
As demonstrated, time has the power to bypass logical thinking in situations of crisis situations. The Lottery exhibits this idea in the attempt to get through the execution as quickly as possible without analysis of the morality of the situation. Comparably, Circle demonstrates the corruption of time by providing immediate consequences to the choice of vote putting pressure on the time left while challenging the morals of society in the chaotic setting. It is through the power of time that humanity is created and destroyed, manipulated and dictated, but it can never be determined how much time is received. Therefore, one must choose to spend it wisely.


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