The Lottery by Chris Abani in Comparison to Stanley Milgram1960 Experiment
The following is study based on the experiment that was carried out by Stanley Milgram a psychologist in Yale University in relation to Chris Abani’s Lottery.
Milgram focused on conflicts in relation to how one obeys authority as well personal conscience. He looked into justifications offered to the culprits accused of genocide at the world war2 in Nuremberg trials. He began the experiment after the trial of Eichmann where he wanted to know whether there was a possibility that Eichmann and his co-accused carried out the killings to follow the orders. Milgram wanted to determine to what extend people would go in obeying an order that involved harming another person. He also wanted to know what motivated ordinary people to commit killings like in the example of Germans in the world war2. A Submitted Student Sample: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
The experiment involved 40 participants, where a generator was used with shock levels of 30volts increasing up to 450 volts. They used switches that were labeled according to the level of voltage; slight shock, moderate and severe shock. Participants assumed the role of “a teacher” and then they would deliver a shock to the “student” when a wrong answer is given. During the experiment the participant would pretend and believe that they are delivering a real shock to the student and the “student” would pretend to be shocked. As they continue with the experiment the learner would complain about a heart condition and plead to be released. When the voltage reaches to 300 levels the “student” would lean on the wall and demand to be set free (Stanley 34). Above this point the “student” would become silent and would not answer any other question. The experimenter would then give an order to make the participant believe that the act silence is a wrong response and so he should go on and deliver another shock to the “student”.
The observed outcome that was made during the experiment was that the measure of obedience was determined by the level of shock that the participant was willing to give. Approximately 66 percent of the participants were willing to give maximum shocks. Among the 40 participants 26 would give high levels of shocks while the other 14 would stop even before they get to the highest level. The study shows that a big number of the subjects became angry with the experiment but they had to continue to obey the given orders up to the end.
When we correlate Milligram’s experiment to Chris Abani’s Lottery we can understand the event that happened to him in His youth. We are convinced that there is no legal process followed by mob to determine whether someone is innocent or guilty. During the occasion Chris Abani was punished by the mob without even a trial. A small rumor that went round by a simple shout of the word “thief” made him face the mob justice (Abani 22). Just as we have seen in the experiment that most of the participants were not willing to deliver high levels of voltage to the “students” but only did so to obey the orders, so the crowd punished Chris not because they were willing but they had to obey the simple command of a “thief”.
In conclusion we can say that it is true that many people suffer jail terms not because of crimes that they did willingly but because they had to follow orders. It will be fair enough if the prosecutors consider weighing the circumstance surrounding the crime before judgment is made. ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Abani, Chris. The Lottery. Vol. 22. Nigeria: Copper Canyon Press, 1966.
Stanley, Milgram. Obedience to Authority. 219 vols. Harper& Row, 1974.