Discuss if there is a developing character in the Jackson's "The Lottery."

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

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If by "developing character" we are discussing an individual in the story whose arc is still changing, I think that Tessie could be considered a developing character.  It is difficult to see her in this light because for the most part in the story, she is under siege.  Yet, her development and her sense of being a developing character is a part of what makes her characterization so unique.  On one hand, Tessie starts off very settled and very much in control of who she is and in what she believes.  Yet, after this initial introduction, her character is developing from one who wishes to exact equitable treatment upon others, such as when she questions the rules of drawing.  Her character continues to develop into one who demands to find some level of truth and righteousness in what the townspeople are doing.  Her character is a developing one because we struggle to ascertain if her motivations are to seek out truth and justice as a universal maxim for all or if she is more driven by the fact that she was targeted by the system of the lottery. She is developing in this mold until the end with the words, "It isn't fair, It isn't right."  Tessie is a developing character because the arc of her characterization is continuing until the end when she is killed, and perhaps, even afterwards in the mind of the reader.


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