Author Shirley Jackson gives some interesting names to a number of her characters in "The Lottery." Explain the possible allusions, irony, and symbolism of some of these.

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kathik eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Lottery," author Shirley Jackson gives some interesting names to several of her characters. The most obvious one is the name "Delacroix," which means "of the cross," which along with Bobby Martin's name--Martin meaning "ape," and Harry Jones, which is a very common name, all together allude to the idea of the uncivilized part of all of us--the "Hairy Ape," so to speak. Mrs. Delacroix, who is described as being friendly and warm, at the end picks up a rock so big she can barely carry it. She follows the rules of the lottery with gusto--perhaps as many follow their faith without question.

Furthermore, we have Mr. Adams, probably based on Adam of the Biblical Adam and Eve, Mr. Graves, whose name's meaning is obvious, and Hutchinson. Anne Hutchinson of Massachusetts was declared a heretic by the Puritans and cast out of her home and town in the 1600s. She, like Tessie Hutchinson, had an unfair trial (or in Tessie's case--none at all for no crime at all). Anne was banished, and Tessie was stoned.

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The Lottery

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