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In Jackson's "The Lottery," how does Tessie embody crisis?

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jesatk | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM via web

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In Jackson's "The Lottery," how does Tessie embody crisis?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM (Answer #1)

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The concept of crisis is best seen with Tessie and her reaction to the lottery when her family's name is pulled.  There is an obvious schism between Tessie and the practices of the community when it is revealed that first her family and then she are targets of the practice.  This is where crisis is best seen for it pits the individual against the community.  The individual, Tessie, is without resource.  There is no one advocating for her and there is little chance that this ends in a positive manner for her.  She knows this and her protestations represent the essence of "crisis."  When she questions the rules and the "fairness," it is a representation of crisis.  When Tessie says that the lottery "isn't right" and it "isn't fair," it represents crisis.  The individual pitted against the community is something that Tessie embodies and through it, crisis is evident.  The concept is clearly demonstrated for it becomes abundantly clear that the community is going to win and this quaint and charming town will watch and participate in a savage tradition of cruelty and malevolence. It is here where crisis is evident.

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