What does Old Man Warner say in the story?  

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Lottery--Shirley Jackson

Old Man Warner appears in the story five times. He is an important figure, because he is the oldest man in the town. So, no other person has been part of the lottery as long as he has been. 

In the story, he represents the old guard. He wants to uphold tradition, and he is adamant. The lottery must be done without any alterations. So, when someone says that other villages are no longer conducting the lottery, he becomes angry and his views come out. He calls them a pack of fools. Let me quote him in full, because of the importance of his words in the logic of the lottery.

Old Man Warner snorted. "Pack of crazy fools," he said. "Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live hat way for a while. Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.' First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There's always been a lottery," he added petulantly. "Bad enough to see young Joe Summers up there joking with everybody."

Based on these words, people like Old Man Warner make the lottery into an institution in this village. His convictions, superstitions, and wrong thinking perpetuate ritualistic murder.

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