In "The Lottery" what does Old Man Warner symbolize?

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The classic short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson is a frightening tale about a village that conducts a yearly lottery involving all its citizens. This seems to be a tradition not only in the village where the story is based but in all the villages around. The townspeople, including the women and children, gather, and the heads of the households draw folded papers from a black box. After a household is chosen, the members of that household draw papers. When a single person is chosen, that person is stoned to death by the rest of the village.

Old Man Warner is described as "the oldest man in town." He claims to have gone through 77 lotteries. As the chosen household draws their papers, Warner says that the lottery was not the way it used to be. He is reacting to offhand remarks people are making as the lottery comes to a close. The implication is that people used to be more respectful than they are now.

In the story, Old Man Warner represents the continuity of the lottery system...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 800 words.)

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