Given Old Man Warner's thoughts, what mentality accounts for the continuation of the lottery tradition?

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

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I think that Old Man Warner's mentality about the lottery results from the basic idea that tradition should not be questioned.  Old Man Warner speaks to this idea in different ways.  Old Man Warner makes it clear that he has participated in over seven decades' worth of lottery.  He declares this in such a way in the story to make it clear that the lottery participation has translated to his own longevity.  The lottery is further viewed as something necessary to the town's survival.  Old Man Warner's mentality is one in which agricultural prowess is directly linked to the lottery's participation.  When it is brought up that the lottery itself might be stopped, Warner dismisses such discussions as arising from "a pack of fools."  This mentality reveals how embedded in tradition the lottery is and how this tradition must be continued without questioning and without hesitation.  The lottery is seen from the mentality of revering tradition at all costs.  Old Man Warner gives voice to something that so many in the town believe, resulting in how many converge on Tessie at the end of the story.


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