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How is the "scapegoat" important to the lottery?

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stonerchick22 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 23, 2007 at 9:21 AM via web

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How is the "scapegoat" important to the lottery?

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skearney1960 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 23, 2007 at 10:27 AM (Answer #1)

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The scapegoat, a person who is punished for the sins of others, plays a thematic role in the development of the story. Tessie Hutchison becomes the sacrificial victim in the lottery. Ironically, she contributes to her own fate when she insists that the lottery was not conducted fairly when her own husband holds the "winning" ticket. By offering her own daughter and husband to be included in the lottery to increase the odds that her husband will not again pick the marked ticket, Tessie is offering up another scapegoat. In the end, she is the one stoned for the sins of the village. Some critics view Jackson's selection of a female victim in the story as an indictment of patriarchial society in which women are often the scapegoats.


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