Character analysis: Ivan Dmitritch
Ivan is middle-class and manages to keep his family on twelve hundred a year. He seems content at first that they have just enough to live on. After dinner, he relaxes with the newspaper and his wife asks him to check the Lottery Numbers. He obliges, the narrator tells us, because he is bored and has nothing else to do. This tells us something about his character already. It tells us that even though he made a rule he is willing to break it over a matter as simple as boredom. He seems rather cold and skeptical too, as he seems to have little faith in his wife or in her chances of winning. “Ivan Dmitritch had no faith in lottery luck” (p. 198,par. 2, line 1). The author describes Ivan's shock well, as he realizes the ticket is on the list of potential winners. He starts to think out loud about the possibilities, but his train of thought seems to be a one-way conversation. This immediately shows that he is becoming selfish. This trait is not a good sign in anybody when it comes to money that is not theirs. Only evil thoughts can follow, this is later shown in the short story. He does not share his joy and excitement with his wife but goes off on a tangent imagining what he will do with the money. So much so that he does not even want to leave the first series of numbers and instead chooses to say “but stay . . . wait! No, I say! Anyway, the number of our series is there!” (p.198) after his wife asks him to check the last numbers. Here we see that he is reluctant to disappoint himself. Note: He is only thinking about fulfilling his own dreams, so in turn he is only concerned about disappointing himself and again revisits his selfish revelation. He forgets it’s his wife’s’ lottery ticket. Since he clearly forgets that it is owned by his life-long companion he begins to think about all the people that would try to grab at ‘his’ money. This moment in fact proves the theory that some people can really change as soon as money becomes...
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