How do Nancy and Bill,Jr., act when they know they are not chosen in "The Lottery"? The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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People are nervous for Nancy.  When she steps forward, “her school friends breathed heavily as she went forward switching her skirt, and took a slip daintily from the box” and this demonstrates that she seems to have a following.

Nancy and Bill. Jr. opened theirs at the same time and both beamed and laughed, turning around to the crowd and holding their slips of paper above their heads.

Clearly they are thrilled they did not get picked.

Tessie’s reaction is different from everyone else’s.

She hesitated for a minute, looking around defiantly and then set her lips and went up to the box. She snatched a paper out and held it behind her.

Tessie is the only one who seems to show defiance.  This is one of the reasons no one has sympathy for her.  The other reason, of course, is that tradition is more valuable to them than any one person.


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