Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is a suspenseful story with a horrific twist ending: it turns out that the "winner" of the annual town lottery is stoned to death by the rest of the town in some kind of superstitious old ritual. In the story, most of the ...
Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" is a suspenseful story with a horrific twist ending: it turns out that the "winner" of the annual town lottery is stoned to death by the rest of the town in some kind of superstitious old ritual. In the story, most of the characters are seen to approve of the lottery as long as they are not the ones chosen. The person whose name is eventually drawn, Tessie Hutchinson, of course, has a different opinion as everyone else as she sees the town surrounding her with stones in their hands.
Mr. Summers is basically the officiant, so his role is to administer the slips of paper and maintain order. He could be said to support the lottery and to keep the ritual running along as planned. He can be seen directing the townspeople to complete the steps of the process. He calls people up to the black box, where they take the slips of paper. He also is quoted near the end of the story encouraging people not to open their papers until the right time.
Tessie Hutchinson, on the other hand, is against the lottery once she is chosen. The story ends with her lamenting, "It isn't fair, it isn't right." Old Man Warner encourages townspeople to throw their stones at her, and all of the townspeople are now against this one sacrificial lamb. Even Tessie's own children and husband have to participate in stoning her, as is tradition. It can be assumed that if Tessie had not been chosen, she also would have been fine with participating as usual.
The lottery in Jackson's story necessarily sets one townsperson against the rest of the community, so that the community participates willingly (or so it seems), while the unlucky chosen member of the town feels wronged by being chosen.