What different attitudes toward the ritual are presented by the various characters in "The Lottery"?

In "The Lottery," attitudes in the village vary, from Old Man Warner's stubborn attachment to the ritual to the mild skepticism of Mr. and Mrs. Adams. However, there is no one who views the lottery as an outrage. This similarity of opinion among the villagers adds to the sinister atmosphere in the story.

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In "The Lottery," Mr. Summers , who is the type of man who chairs every committee in a small community, regards the lottery as an important ritual, not to mention a refuge from his homelife. The same seems to be true of his acolytes, Mr. Graves and Mr....

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In "The Lottery," Mr. Summers, who is the type of man who chairs every committee in a small community, regards the lottery as an important ritual, not to mention a refuge from his homelife. The same seems to be true of his acolytes, Mr. Graves and Mr. Martin, who respectfully assist him in the solemn ceremony. The strongest supporter of the lottery is Old Man Warner, another small-town stereotype, who regards every innovation as the end of civilization. He never offers any reasoned defense of why the lottery is so important, but he vehemently insists that the community has always held a lottery and must continue to do so.

Mr. and Mrs. Adams both mention that other communities are questioning the value of lotteries or even giving them up altogether. Although this irritates Old Man Warner, it barely amounts to a whisper of dissent. However, no more skeptical view is expressed. Even when Tessie Hutchinson begins to protest, it is the procedure, rather than the principle, she criticizes. What is really striking is the lack of difference in the opinions of the villagers' compared with the dawning horror in the mind of the reader as they realize what is happening. It is the single-mindedness of the community that gives the story its sinister atmosphere.

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Both Mr. Summers and Mr. Graves respect the annual lottery and help organize and conduct the brutal ritual. Mr. and Mrs. Adams speak to Old Man Warner about the other villages, which have ended the lottery. Although they do not elaborate on their feelings regarding the choice to end the lottery, they introduce an alternative to carrying out the annual ritual. Therefore, one could argue that Mr. and Mrs. Adams are ambivalent about the lottery and are aware that others have put an end to the ritual. In contrast, Old Man Warner is a staunch proponent of the lottery and considers the other villages a "Pack of young fools." He believes that if the lottery were to end, civilization would cease to exist and people would go back to living in caves.

Tessie Hutchinson becomes the community's scapegoat after drawing the black spot and immediately protests the annual lottery. Tessie expresses her opinion that the lottery is not fair and is vehemently against the violent ritual. She even shows up late to the ceremony and begs Mr. Summers to let her husband draw again. Mrs. Delacroix obeys the lottery and is another proponent of the violent ritual. She scolds Tessie for protesting the lottery and chooses the largest rock to hurl at the Tessie. Tessie's husband Bill is another proponent of the lottery. He scolds his wife for protesting and takes part in the ritual by stoning Tessie. Mrs. Dunbar's behavior suggests that she does not champion the lottery. Unlike the other villagers, Mrs. Dunbar sends her son home, waits towards the back, and only picks up small stones. One could interpret her actions to suggest that she does not enjoy or support the brutal ritual.

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In the beginning of the story, the children appear to understand the solemnity of the ritual because they enter the square quietly, but really, this ritual is a game to them: "Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones, and the other boys soon followed his example, selecting the smoothest and roundest stones." Otherwise, the children are more concerned with childish things—school and play.

The men enter the square solemnly as well, but they also seem to connect the ritual to their crops, for they enter "speaking of planting and rain, tractors and taxes." Yet they also appear not to relish this ritual like the children, for they "stood together, away from the pile of stones in the corner, and their jokes were quiet and they smiled rather than laughed."

When the women enter the square, no indication is really given about their attitudes, but they follow the lead of their husbands and keep their children in line, following the rules of the ritual.

In the end, all of the villagers are just glad it was not their turn to be stoned, and they ask Tessie Hutchinson to simply do her part and take the stoning.

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In the short story, "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, several different attitudes towards the ritual appear with different characters in the story.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Adams express doubt about the ritual, remarking that other villages have either given up the ritual or are thinking of giving it up.  Mrs. Delacroix speaks pleasantly to Tessie Hutchinson and tells her to "Be a good sport, Tessie";  however, she is one of the most enthusiastic people to stone Tessie illustrating the dichotomy of pleasant conversation and the evil of killing.  The younger children play in the square indifferent to the adults and their worries.  Janey Dunbar is reluctant to stone Tessie, saying that she will catch up later leaving the reader to hope that the lottery will lose favor in the future.  Mr. Hutchinson, Tessie's husband, forces the slip of paper with the black mark on it to be seen by the crowd, showing his acceptance of tradition and his control over Tessie.  Old Man Warner represents the old order and is enthusiastic in his support of the ritual stoning.  Tessie, when saying that it isn't fair, is one of the few voices against the ritual of stoning a person to death each year. 

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