Last Updated 07 Jul 2020

Character Analysis of The Lottery

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The lottery is usually associated with beating the odds and winning something extravagant. In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery”, the reader is led to believe the story is about something cheerful and happy given the setting of a warm summer day and children out of school for the summer. Jackson turns winning the lottery into a bad thing. Of 300 villagers Tessie Hutchinson shows up late, claiming she forgot about the annual lottery drawing, but seems very excited to have made it on time. When Tessie was in no danger she is gossiping with neighbors and encourages her husband to draw for the winner.

Jackson curiously builds up the character of Tessie so that it seems she is blinded by tradition until she becomes a victim of it herself. Mrs. Hutchinson is introduced in the story as being late for the drawing of the lottery and claims that she “`clean forgot what day it was’” (Jackson 206). After reading the story and knowing the outcome, it seems ironic that someone could truly forget something that is so awful. It’s almost as if Tessie was dreading this day all along. Why else would she have claimed to forget something so important to the town?

Maybe Tessie was overly excited to get in on the action only to act as if it were no big deal. The Author also describes her as coming “hurriedly along the path to the square... ” (Jackson 206). Was this because she had truly forgotten and didn’t want to be late, or because she couldn’t wait for the lottery to begin? Initially Mrs. Hutchinson is presented as a character who when she arrives, she calmly talks to the other women and makes a joke to her husband by saying “` Wouldn’t have me leave m’dishes in the sink, now, would you, Joe’” (Jackson 206).

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When It comes time for Tessie’s husband Bill to draw she rushes him by telling him to “`get up there’” (Jackson 208). Tessie feels as if she is in no danger. This conduct makes her appear to be anxious about the drawing so the stoning can begin and confident that their slip won’t have the dreaded black dot on it. Tessie’s attitude changes when her eagerness to see the lottery through is put to an abrupt stop when she realizes her family has been chosen. She uses Mr. Summers as a scapegoat and shouts “`You didn’t give him enough time to take any paper he wanted.

I saw you. It wasn’t fair ‘” (Jackson 208). Throughout the drawing of the names, Tessie seemed to be fine with the fact that someone was going to die until it the realization set in that it may be her. Before a drawing is held to decide who wins, Tessie tries to make Mr. Summers include her daughter, “`There’s Don and Eva, make them take their chance! ’” (Jackson 209). This shows how ruthless and careless Tessie is. She knows that her daughter was already entered in the drawing under her husband’s name.

Having her daughter enter would only give her more of a chance to live. After Tessie is chosen as the winner she demands that the drawing was done unfairly and that her husband was rushed. What’s ironic about that is she is the one who rushed Bill to draw. Jackson uses the hypocrisy of Tessie’s actions to show this. Tessie’s victimization at the hands of the towns people allows her to be a semi-symbolic character, which will lose her life due to a cruel death by stoning.

They did this all for the sake that there may be a fruitful crop for the coming harvest season. Surprisingly, even Tessie’s closest friend was mentioned as finding a stone so big that she had to lift it with both hands. Mrs. Hutchison was tardy to the biggest event of the year. She desperately hoped that she would not win. Although no one should have to suffer such cruelty, her complaining after being chosen annoyed everyone and tends to make the reader feel that she deserves the death that she was awarded.

Character Analysis of The Lottery essay

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What is the character of the Lottery by Shirley Jackson?

Tessie Hutchinson is the principle character of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery." She is a blunt mother of three. In contrast to different ladies in the town, Tessie appears to assume a progressively dynamic job in her marriage. She shouts to her better half as he goes up to draw a great deal, which draws chuckling from the remainder of the group.

What is the Lottery by Shirley Jackson summary?

The Lottery Outline. "The Lottery" is a short story by Shirley Jackson that delineates a little New Britain town's yearly lottery. A discovery loaded with paper slips is brought to the town square. The town's inhabitants accumulate in the town square, and every draw a bit of paper.

How does Tessie feel about the lottery?

Tessie Hutchinson - The unfortunate failure of the lottery. Tessie draws the paper with the dark imprint on it and is battered to the point of death. She is amped up for the lottery and completely ready to take an interest each year, yet when her family's name is drawn, she fights that the lottery isn't reasonable.

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