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In the story of "The Lottery"by Shirley Jackson, what does Mr. Summers...

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kaceykc5 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 1, 2010 at 11:08 AM via web

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In the story of "The Lottery"by Shirley Jackson, what does Mr. Summers represent/symbolize in the town?

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

Posted November 1, 2010 at 7:41 PM (Answer #1)

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Mr. Summers represent the forces of tradition and power that allow the lottery, as a practice, to exist.  He has no children, and his wife seems to enjoy the location that she and her husband enjoy on the social ladder.  He symbolizes the practice of the lottery, the idea that it is a tradition in the village.  He is the force that allows it to exist, to not have to be brought into question and not have it undermined in any way shape or form.  His purpose in the story is to reflect how the tradition has become part of the culture of the village and how questions about is are not raised.  Individuals reading the story have to wonder how civilized people could allow such a tradition to be practiced.  It is because of the efforts of people such as Mr. and Mrs. Summers that this is so.

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