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Name at least two internal and two external conflicts in "The Lottery".

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cococham | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 24, 2008 at 6:54 AM via web

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Name at least two internal and two external conflicts in "The Lottery".

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jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted January 24, 2008 at 7:58 AM (Answer #1)

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Let's take the internal conflicts first. 

Mrs. Adams seems to be questioning the lottery in a subtle way. She asks questions that would provoke thought and discussion about the usefulness of the lottery. The question is, is she motivated by the stopping the senseless killing or is she worried about her own life? The answer to that is in the last paragraph.

Tessie Hutchinson arrives late and is nervous and embarrassed by her tardiness.  She seems to be in denial that her moment may come. When the second and third lotteries are started she tries to include more of her family members to decrease her chances in being caught. This shows a conflict between saving herself or caring for her family.

The external conflicts are:

Bill Hutchinson and his wife. It is Tessie's husband that forces the marked unlucky ballot out of Tessie's hand to show it to the town. He is actively participating in the sacrifice/murder of own of his own.

Old Man Warner and the town. He brags about how many Lotteries he has survived and scolds those who think it is time to rethink this. He obviously believes the lottery serves a common good, only because he has survived them all. Perhaps his tune would change if his moment came. 


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