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The Lottery Essay

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In “The Lottery” the characteristics describe it as a comedy. Even though the ending is tragic, the story contains no hero, and does not really teach a lesson. Rather it shows a culture of a village and it’s villagers. That leaning in culture shows more realistic, and more common language. Such as when Joe Summers enters the scene he says “Little late today, folks.” And when he needs help with carrying the black box he asks the Martins “Some of you fellows want to give me a hand?” This shows that the way he communicates resonates within a common folk, and every other character can relate to his type of communication. He is not speaking words that don’t make sense. Another reason this story is more of a comedy is that it entertains. It keeps you at a point of suspense until the slip with the dot on it reveals itself in the hands of Bill Hutchinson. The suspense leading up to that point is when the women say, “Who is it?” “Who’s got it” “Is it the Dunbar’s?” “Is it the Watsons?” Even at that point one of the main characters Tessie Hutchinson pleads for a redo.

She states, “You didn’t give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn’t fair.” So the entertainment is there. Through out the story there is a few times where humor enters between the characters. As the tardy Tessie Hutchinson enters the village crowd looking for her husband some villagers say, “Bill, she made it after all.” And after Joe Summers tells her they almost started without her she replied, “Wouldn’t have me leave m’ dishes in the sink, now, would you Joe.” It’s not overly funny material, but it is a consensus humor that they share. All of this goes back to show the language that they have between themselves as well. Looking deeper into the story, the main part of why it is a comedy is that it has a resolution. It’s not a funny, or happy one but everything is settled. Even though some of the characters may or may not agree with the ritual at hand, it still gets settled. Tessie Hutchinson is stoned to death. Now this also brings in the argument that it possibly pushes toward something positive. Population control could be viewed as a positive practice. Maybe not the way it is handled but in the bigger scheme of things it could be viewed positive as a whole for the village. The Lottery qualifies as a short story. You could easily read this in a short time, whether trying to pass time or for educational purposes.

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There are two characters that are mainly important. Joe Summers is the protagonist. He stays the same through out the story, flat. He has a ritual to follow through with and that’s it. The antagonist would be Tessie Hutchinson. First she shows up late for the yearly event, and seems to make a scene of grumblings as she tries to unite with her family, which holds Summers up from continuing with the process. He still drives on and coordinates the process rather efficiently. After she is selected as the unlucky villager, Summers still is able to keep calm, and collective, and inform the village, “Let’s finish quickly.” So he doesn’t change. Tessie on the other hand changes once she has been selected. She first jokes as her husband goes up to select saying, “Get up there, Bill,” as everyone laughs. Then once selected she says a few times, “It’s not fair.” So Tessie is resisting the process, naturally, that Joe Summers is required Cooney

to do. Aside from the characteristics of the two more important characters, a short story always has a surprising or shocking ending. This story does not fail to deliver that. Sure there is a few symbols, or characteristics that are significant such as the rocks in Bobby Martin’s pocket or the Delacroix boys forming and protecting a stack of rocks prior to the lottery. Yet the resolution is surprising. When one thinks of the title “The Lottery,” it is viewed as having a positive result, especially in this day in age. This result is viewed as more of a necessary aspect of life. Old man Warner says, “First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery.” This implies that if the lottery hadn’t take place, the people would suffer in the way they eat. So it seems like a necessary event.

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