Four Of Old Man Warner In The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

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When “The Lottery” was first published in The New Yorker in 1948 Shirley Jackson had absolutely no idea what she had just gotten herself into. Shortly after the release of “The Lottery” Jackson began to receive harassment from hundreds of people who were bothered by her story and wanted further explanation. Jackson was able to cause such controversy with “The Lottery” that some readers went so far as to unsubscribe from The New Yorker. What made “The Lottery” so controversial and fascinating is the fact that even though the story is quite brief Jackson was able to give an elaborate plot with an ominous ending that the audience was not expecting- even though Jackson also included plenty of details that foreshadowed what would happen. Four of…show more content…
Old Man Warner is described to the reader as the oldest man in town, and makes it clear that he is a backer of the lottery and wants to keep things exactly the way they are in his town. He addresses the younger generations from different towns that have stopped having lotteries as crazy and foolish. It is made clear from when he is introduced that Old Man Warner is threatened by any change which symbolizes the hazard that society faces when its citizens follow outdated and ignorant traditions blindly. The fact that the people of the village accept the lottery without question has normalized the killing of innocent people in their minds. The people of the village are blind to the fact that their tradition is morally wrong, and although there is no one forcing them to continue this tradition they are afraid of change just like Old Man Warner. Old Man Warner is so faithful to the tradition that he literally thinks that the villagers will start retracting themselves to ancient times if they stop the lottery. The people of the town live ordinary lives yet are astoundingly able to kill one of their own neighbors/friends/family members when they are told to for absolutely no reason other than keeping a ridiculous tradition alive. This barbaric act is reckless and unnecessary, yet no one stops it from happening because they are afraid of “messing with…show more content…
The reader is first introduced to Tessie Hutchinson as she arrives late to the gathering for the lottery. Tessie states that she had forgotten what day it was, which immediately sets her apart from all the other women who arrive at the gathering on time. While the others are gossiping among one another and then quietly joining their husbands, Tessie arrives unsettled and out of breath. Jackson definitely portrays Tessie as a free spirit compared to the others, with Tessie being the only villager to protest against this vicious tradition once her family is selected. When it is discovered that her husband Bill had the marked paper Tessie retaliates stating that “It wasn’t fair!” Tessie continues to repeat this statement as she is selected and stoned to death by the villagers, but instead of listening to her they ignore her. Another theme of the story that is clearly evident through the Hutchinson family is how quickly families turn on each other when it comes to their individual safety. The Hutchinson family seems like an ordinary family who seems to get along well but once they become the chosen family each individual becomes selfish in a sense; they all begin to hope that they are not the ones who will have the marked paper. Instead of caring for one another’s safety or caring that Tessie is about to get stoned to death, they seem to be relieved that they are not the ones in Tessie’s

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