In what ways are the characters in story "The Lottery" differentiated from one another?

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William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The characters in "The Lottery" are not well rounded but are only types of people who would be found in any small American town. They are differentiated mainly by sex and age. There are little boys, adolescent boys, older men, and one old man called Old Man Warner. There are no little girls described, but there is a group of young adolescent girls who include Nancy Hutchinson and several of her friends. Most of the adult females in the story seem to be around the same age as Tessie Hutchinson, and all are typical farm wives. Two men who are differentiated by their roles in the story are Joe Summers, who is in charge of the lottery, and Harry Graves, who acts as his assistant. A man named Clyde Dunbar is differentiated from the rest of the characters by the fact that he is laid up at home outside of town with a broken leg. These characters are not brought out with any depth. They are all "types." Most readers will recognize them as people they have known at one time or another. 

Here is a complete list of the characters in the approximate order of their appearance in "The Lottery":

Bobby Martin
Harry Jones
Dickie Delacroix
Mr. Martin
Baxter Martin
Joe Summers
Harry Graves
Old Man Warner
Tessie Hutchinson 
Mrs. Delacroix
Clyde Dunbar
Mrs. Dunbar
Horace Dunbar
Jack Watson
Steve Adams
Allen (a last name)
Mr. Delacroix
Bill Hutchinson
Mrs. Adams
Bill Hutchinson, Jr.
Nancy Hutchinson
Nancy Hutchinson’s unnamed school girlfriends
Dave Hutchinson
Mrs. Graves

Read the study guide:
The Lottery

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