Characters of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

Topics: The Lottery, Short story, The New Yorker Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: February 12, 2014
Mrs. C
ENC 1102, Section 45
February 10, 2014

Characters of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson
The Lottery, like most of Shirley Jackson’s other short stories was written in third person. Newsweek states, “In her art, as in her life, Shirley Jackson was an absolute original. She listened to her own voice, kept her own counsel, and isolated herself from all intellectual and literary currents . . . . She was unique." (Newsweek) In the short story “The Lottery there are three major characters that can be identified with several minor characters. The major characters in the story are Tessie Hutchinson, Old Man Warner, and Mr. Summers. The minor characters that stand out, but not in much detail are Bill Hutchinson, and Mr. Graves. There are other characters mentioned throughout the story but these few are the key characters.

Tessie Hutchinson was the only person in the town that forgot about the lottery. She arrived late to the square were the villagers all gathered. Shirley Jackson used this to make Tessie stand out in the crowd of three hundred villagers. Tessie was frustrated when she arrived stating “Clean forgot what day it was.” She added “thought my old man was out back stacking wood, and then I looked out the window and the kids was gone, and I remembered it was the twenty-seventh and came a-running.” (pg.138) Jackson uses that to make Tessie look like a free spirit person. Tessie is very outspoken throughout the draw. Once the Lottery is drawn and Tessie finds out it is her family that is the holder of the black dot, the mark of death, she refuses the outcome. Yelling and protesting that her husband, Bill, did not have enough time to draw and he was rushed. This makes Tessie look weak, even some of the other villagers tell her “we all took the same chance.” She even tries to offer up other family members to take her place. When in reality must parents would want to protect their family she offers them up to be stoned to death. In the end Tessie...

Cited: Barnes and Noble. The Lottery: And Other Stories. . .
Edgar V. Roberts, Robert Zweig. Literature. : Pearson, 2006.
Ruth Franklin. “The Lottery” Letters. June 26, 2013. .
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