The storyline in both The Lottery and The Ballad of Rudolph Reed very distinctly mentions family relationships. Both families obviously looked out for one another. "Mrs. Hutchinson craned he neck to see through the crowd and found her husband and children standing near the front." (318).
In The Lottery Mrs. Hutchinson made sure to locate the whereabouts of her kin. .".. the Rudolph Reeds and the children three were too joyous... ." (932). In The Ballad of Rudolph Reed the family seems very close-knit and happy in each other's presence.
In The Lottery the Hutchinson's received the bad luck of choosing the black dot that doomed one of their family. As soon as there was a chance that one of their family would come to harm, Mrs. Hutchinson immediately protested the tradition of the lottery. "'You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted.
I saw you. It wasn't fair!' " (320). In The Ballad of Rudolph Reed, Rudolph jumped to action when his daughter was injured by racist white men. "But he looked, and lo! Small Mabel's blood was staining her gaze so pure." (933). After that Rudolph Reed stood up to his persecutors and went after those who brought harm to his family. "Then up did rise our Rudolph Reed." (932) At the end of both stories, the main characters ended up murdered with their families doing nothing to stop it.
Mrs. Hutchinson, by pure bad luck, was stoned to death by her neighbors, friends, and family. People followed in such blind conformity that they were able to murder a close friend with the simple excuse that the lottery was just a tradition to make the crops plentiful. "The children had stones already, and someone gave little Davy Hutchison a few pebbles.
Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space now... as the villagers moved in on her... A stone hit her on the side of the head." (322). The Hutchinson's didn't try to do anything to save their wife and mother. They even participated in her killing - just to make the corn crops would be plentiful. In The Ballad of Rudolph Reed, Rudolph goes after the white men who tried to bring harm to his family.
After he hurt his fourth white man "Rudolph Reed was dead... Small Mabel whimpered all night long for calling herself the cause, Her oak-eyed mother did no thing but change the bloody gauze." (933). Their husband and father was murdered because of the white people's blind conformity to the thought that black people were inferior. While Mabel may have blamed herself for the murder, she and her mom were unable to help Rudolph without risking themselves as well. In both stories, the blind conformity of each town resulted in the killing of an innocent. The themes of both stories imply that we should not follow something blindly just because that is how it has always been done.
By following blindly we not only bring harm to ourselves but to those around us as well.