What is the significance of these expressions: "Is it the Dunbars?" , "Is it the Watsons?"

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To the extent that these have significance, it is just that they indicate that people are somewhat nervous about the outcome of the lottery.  They are very eager to know who has "won" the lotttery.

This is the context in which these words are spoken.  The people of the town are wondering who has been picked in the lottery.  They are asking whether it is one of these families that has been picked.

So the significance here is that these lines show the tension that is present, even if it was not clear to me when I first read it that it was negative.  I thought they were eager to be chosen, not afraid...

mkcapen1 | Student
Family members are narrowed down before the lottery draws the last names to see who will be the chosen one. When they ask about the names they are indicating if they are in the final group of contenders. At the time we do not know if the lottery is a bad thing but the mood is starting to change. Once the family groupings have been narrowed down then the individual members draw to determine whose name is the one who will be stoned to death. It is at the point when the family has been narrowed down that Tessie starts to panic.