The Lottery Questions and Answers
by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are three of Tessie Hutchinson's character traits?   What are some characteristics of Tessie Hutchinson's in the short story "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson?

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,300 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Forgetful: Tessie Hutchinson does not make it to the lottery on time and rushes to stand next to her family before the community members draw their slips from the black box. Tessie mentions to Mrs. Delacroix that she completely forgot what day it was and thought that her husband was out back stacking wood.

Vocal: When her husband's slip is chosen, Tessie vocally challenges the procedure of the lottery by claiming that Mr. Summers did not give Bill enough time to choose the slip he wanted. Instead of passively accepting the fact her husband's slip was chosen, Tessie cries out, "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!" (Jackson, 5).

Hysterical: When Tessie chooses the slip with the black spot on it, she becomes hysterical and begins screaming "It isn't fair, it isn't right" at the top of her lungs (Jackson, 7). Tessie can only scream in panic as her neighbors grab stones to throw at her.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

schulzie eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write572 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Tessie Hutchinson is:

1. Good Housekeeper and wife:  She almost misses the lottery because she forgot about the date.  When she arrives she dries her hands on her apron.  She teases with Mr. Summers when he comments that they thought they were going to have to start without her.

"Wouldn't have me leave m'dishes in the sink, now, would you, Joe?"( Internet copy pg 2)  

2. Outspoken: When the Hunchinson name is drawn, she says,

"You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted.  I saw you.  I wasn't fair" (Internet copy pg 4)

She continues to protest to the people around her, even though the lottery continues and everyone is ignoring her.

3. Hypocritical: She shows up for the lottery prepared to follow what it says.  She would have stoned the person whose name was called, but when her own family was chosen, she couldn't take it. She continues to protest to the last moment that

"It isn't fair, it isn't right." (Internet copy pg 6)