How do we learn about the main character?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that much is gained about Tessie in terms of her own statements.  When Tessie enters into the story, she is making jokes with Summers and demonstrates an air of zeal about the "ceremony."  We start gaining more insight into Tessie when her husband pulls the paper that means that someone from the Hutchinson family will be targeted.  When Tessie starts to implicate her own family members, asking that they be included in this secondary drawing, and then focusing on how Bill was rushed, it is evident that Tessie is uncomfortable with the notion of being targeted.  This is in stark contrast to how she was at the start of the ceremony, indicating that she is only reticent about the practice of the town when she is the intended victim.  This becomes more evident when she starts to protest her own identification as the target.  Her words of "It isn't fair, it isn't right," is a reflection of how the practice of the village is intrinsically immoral and horrifically savage.  However, it is also a reflection of her own sense of hypocrisy.  Tessie is right in that what the village is doing is wrong and unfair. Yet, she only seems to protest because she is implicated.  Tessie's character is constructed in an interesting manner in that she speaks for a larger and human truth, but one that is only experienced in a small and self -interested manner.


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