Describe Mr. Summers, based on his responsibilities and the way that others react to him.

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Mr. Summers is described as a jovial man, who is in charge of organizing and conducting the annual lottery. Jackson writes that the villagers felt sorry for Mr. Summers because he had no children and his wife was a scold. Although Mr. Summers devotes his life to volunteering for various...

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Mr. Summers is described as a jovial man, who is in charge of organizing and conducting the annual lottery. Jackson writes that the villagers felt sorry for Mr. Summers because he had no children and his wife was a scold. Although Mr. Summers devotes his life to volunteering for various civic duties and is well-known throughout the town, the villagers keep their distance from him and remain aloof during the annual lottery ceremony. The narrator mentions that the villagers stand away from the black box and are hesitant to help Mr. Summers hold it in place while he stirs the slips of paper. It is implied that the villagers do not want to bear the responsibility for the death of one of their neighbors. While the entire community is complicit in the annual murder of an innocent villager, Mr. Summers is the bearer of death and is solely responsible for conducting the barbaric ritual. Despite Mr. Summer's appeal to create a new black box and suggestion to draw slips of paper instead of chips of wood, he is portrayed as a conformist, who blindly follows tradition like the vast majority of his community. Mr. Summers carries out his duties professionally and is depicted as a callous traditionalist, who suffers from alienation during the annual lottery ceremony.

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The narrator informs us that other people feel sorry for Mr. Summers because "he had no children and his wife was a scold." They probably also feel sorry for him because he has to perform the lottery. When the lottery begins, Mr. Summers asks for help, and two men hesitate. They acknowledge that they "have to" endure the lottery and participate, but they want to stay as far from it as possible. As a result, they keep their distance from Mr. Summers as well. He is, functionally, the messenger of death.

Mr. Summers is therefore associated with death. And for those who silently or audibly question the validity of the lottery, he is associated with senseless killing. As primitive and barbaric as the lottery is, Mr. Summers carries out his duties professionally. This really doesn't help the townspeople relate or respond to him better. Mr. Summers is grave about the whole ritual but he goes through with it without question. In this respect, he is as mindlessly traditional as any of those who refuse to question the ethics or reasonability of the sacrifice.

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