T He Lottter Essay

2047 words - 9 pages

“The Lottery” is a story which shows the complexity and capability of human behavior. Something immoral, like stoning a person to death once a year, is taken to be a normal occurrence. The main character, Tessie Hutchinson, is the victim of the lottery. Tessie is a character with a number of seemingly good characteristics, yet her surrounding culture rejects these characteristics. The majority of the people in the village have opposite attitudes and beliefs in comparison to Tessie’s. These attitudes and beliefs reflect her personal desires which quickly struggle against the culture’s expectations. Tessie is unlike the other villagers; she is initially indifferent to the lottery indicating ...view middle of the document...

If the lottery was important to Tessie and was a firm part of her being, she would not have forgotten about it. Tessie knows the others might think this way, and so by teasing and joking she hopes to ease them over, and convince them she feels the same way as they do about the lottery and its importance. Joking about her absence is one of the ways Tessie tries to reconcile with the village’s cultural expectations.
Another aspect that sets Tessie apart from the other villagers is her indifferent attitude toward the lottery. In anticipation for the lottery to begin, most of the people are calm and quiet, only gently talking and laughing amongst each other. Many seem to be impatient and nervous. Tessie on the other hand, shows a care free attitude on arrival and throughout the event. She does not appear nervous or worried, but rather completely confident that she will not be the winner. If this had been a concern to her, she may not have forgotten what day it was. Tessie’s indifference toward the lottery is also shown when she demandingly urges her husband to go up to the box when their family name is called. The others around Tessie laugh when she does this, which only reassures her that her behavior is fine and accepted by them. However, this also makes Tessie seem like she is not the least bit concerned about her family’s potential outcome or that she could be the next victim. Others are nervous and fidgeting with their slips of paper, while she is fully confident in taking on the lottery. Tessie’s care free attitude and indifference is one of the struggles she has in reconciling with the village’s cultural expectations.
Up until Tessie’s family discovers their slip of paper contains the black dot indicating they are the winners, Tessie seems secure and unconcerned about the lottery. Her attitude and outlook takes a complete turn. Immediately, a different side of Tessie is shown. She still has her carefree trait because she is willing to publically stand up and question the lottery. But, a rather selfish characteristic emerges. Most mothers would be very concerned about their children, and have worries about leaving them motherless. Yet, Tessie is only concerned about her own fate. She is willing to give up her own daughter rather than take the chance that she may die. Also up until her moment of death she chooses only to plea rather than say good-bye to her family. She is consumed with her doom. This is nearly a complete turnaround from the Tessie seen at the beginning of the story. She was confident upon arriving at the event and even urged her husband to go up and pick a slip. But, once the suddenly unbelievable occurs, she is the winner of the lottery, she is worried and her entire outlook on the lottery has changed. However, the other villagers choose to ignore her. The villagers still believe the lottery is fair, necessary and important to their culture. Tessie’s willingness to fight against the lottery is another struggle she has in...

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