Tessie Hutchinson: Normal Behavior

Topics: Kübler-Ross model, Denial, The Lottery Pages: 3 (835 words) Published: March 26, 2007
Tessie Hutchinson: Normal Behavior
When a person thinks about confronting death, he or she thinks about how or when it will happen. Many people envision the actions the actions they believe they would take, but until faced with that fatal situation, no one can be certain of the behavior or the measures he or she will take. When faced with death, many prominent psychologists believe there are five stages a person endures. The stages experienced are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (Gould). These stages are tools that allow us to identify what we may be feeling. Not everyone experiences all of these stages or in sequence. In "The Lottery" Shirley Jackson demonstrates how the protagonist, Tessie Hutchinson, reacts when confronted with her upcoming death. Tessie is an ordinary wife and mother of three, who is portrayed as inhuman due to her irrational behavior as she progresses through the five stages of dying. Now knowing the process in which a person perceives death, Tessie's behavior is that of any normal human being faced with this fatal situation. It is a mandatory tradition in which a "winner" is chosen to undergo a deadly stoning by the entire community. Tessie has participated in the lottery for several years, and luckily, she survives the horrific event each year. Luck finally depletes for everyone, and someone has to be the "winner". Tessie is in disbelief that she is chosen. Tessie states, "'You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. . .'" (Jackson 503). The argument put up by Tessie was that of the first stage of denial. When in denial, a person tries to find a glitch or mistake in the situation. This stage often comes in the form of questioning reality. Tessie questions the proficiency of the drawing searching for an error in the decision of her family being chosen for the lottery.

When one is not in control of oneself or a loved ones life, an overwhelming sense of anger begins to...
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