The Lottery Questions and Answers
by Shirley Jackson

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How is Mr. Graves' name significant? Explain, using 2 quotes.

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The word "grave" can also be used to describe something that is likely to produce great harm or danger.  Obviously, since it leads to the violent, stoning death of an inhabitant of the town by the townspeople (including the victim's own family), we can describe the lottery itself as terribly grave.  Mr. Graves' demeanor as he takes part in this lottery mirrors the gravity of the tradition itself: "[Mrs. Graves] watched while Mr. Graves came around from the side of the box, greeted Mr. Summers gravely and selected a slip of paper from the box." This is hardly the time or place for warm hugs and greetings between friends; one never knows if one will be called upon to participate in the murder of a friend on lottery day.  Mr. Graves clearly feels the gravity of the lottery and behaves accordingly.

"Grave" can likewise refer to something that warrants serious consideration.  A grave problem is one that merits significant reflection and deliberation.  One of the main themes of the story...

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