What was Mr. Warner's attitude toward the lottery? In what way and why did his attitude differ from those of other members of the community?

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sherhazade eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Warner is referred to in the story as "Old Man Warner," which indicates how he is viewed in the community. He seems to be the oldest person there, and when he first speaks, he responds angrily to another character's comment that other villages are giving up the lottery. Old Man Warner denounces these other villagers as "'crazy fools,'" and specifically attributes the changes to young people. So, while some characters seem to be at least considering the idea of giving up the lottery, Old Man Warner resists that idea passionately. Perhaps he represents resistance to change, which is the major theme of the story. He also (ironically) sees change as reverting to primitive behavior, stating that the young people will have everyone "'living in caves....'" His view of the lottery is, therefore, tinged with superstition; without the lottery, society will regress, in his mind. He is also disgusted by what he sees as disrepect among the others for the ritual. He comments on another character appearing to joke during the ritual, and then expresses contempt for the commotion that follows when the "winners" are chosen: "'People ain't the way they used to be.'" So, while others seem uneasy about the lottery, he appears to recall and prefer a time in the past when people bore the choice stoically.

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The Lottery

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