In what ways are the characters differentiated from one another? Looking back at the story, can you see why this differentiation resulted in Tessie Hutchinson being singled out as a ''winner?"

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For the most part, there is really no true differentiation between the characters as the ceremony is about to start.  The main characters are shown to progress with the ceremony in an affable and polite manner.  Mr. Summers, Mrs. Delacroix, and of course, Tessie are all cordial and present at the ceremony.  The only character to truly differentiate himself at the ceremony is Old Man Warner who speaks from a position of age and seeking to uphold the tradition of the lottery in light of rumblings about "change." While Mr. Adams speaks of such change, he does so almost in passing, as part of conversation that Old Man Warner vehemently rejects. Part of Jackson's skill at characterization is that she presents the characters prior to selection in such an "everyman" manner that there is no real differentiation present.

The drawing changes everything.  The differentiation process becomes more pointed as the Hutchinson family name is pulled.  From this, the laser- like focus of the town and proceeding lands on Tessie and Bill, and her protests.  It is at this point where Tessie is differentiated from the other characters.  Her being a "winner" in the lottery is where she differentiates herself by questioning the proceedings.  Tessie makes claims of institutional unfairness and how "it isn't right."  Tessie's differentiation is because of her status at being "chosen" in the lottery.  She is differentiated because of the questions she asks and the desire to move back into the condition of being an "insider" as opposed to being an "outsider." As she becomes differentiated because of her winning, it becomes the reason she is killed.  Her distinction and differentiation increases as her name is chosen.  Differentiation becomes her punishment.  It is in this where her status as "winner" ends up differentiating herself from other characters in the narrative.

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The Lottery

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