This Is A Character Analysis Of Tessie Hutchinson In "The Lottery"

748 words - 3 pages

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" portrays a small town in which the citizens gather for a yearly lottery. The story begins on a beautiful summer afternoon. The town's citizens are eager, gathering in the town square in order to take part in the yearly lottery by drawing slips of paper from a traditional black box. Everyone, including Mrs. Tessie Hutchinson, awaits this yearly tradition and most of them agree that this tradition should continue to be held in their small town. The lottery seems exciting; however, unlike a typical lottery the reader finds that toward the end of this short story it is not a lottery anyone in the small town wishes to win. The unlucky winner of the lottery, Tessie Hutchinson, is a character of tardiness or procrastination, anxiety, whining and annoyance; however, she never questions the reasoning behind the lottery, only why it is her that has to die.

From the very beginning of this story, the author curiously builds up the character of Tessie Hutchinson so that she seems to deserve her cruel execution. Of all the villagers, Tessie shows up late, dressed in her apron, proclaiming that she'd forgotten what day it was. Even before the lottery begins, she is already guilty of tardiness and deserves punishment just like a student disrupting a class in school. It is ironic that one could truly forget something that is so awful. After reading the story and knowing the outcome, I wonder if Tessie was dreading this day all along. When Tessie was in no danger she was gossiping with the other ladies and even encouraged her husband to go and pick a piece of paper.

When Hutchinson's name is called out to come draw a slip of paper, Tessie hurried her husband by telling him to get up there. This conduct makes her seem to be anxious about the drawing, but confident that their slip of paper won't have the dreaded black dot on it. Her anxiety and excitement makes the reader believe that drawing the marked lottery ticket is good, such as the case of winning lottery tickets in this day and age. We're clueless that the drawing of the black dot will bring about an evil execution.

Later, Tessie's...

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