To whom is the voice speaking in "The Lottery?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Many times throughout Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" a "voice" is heard. Depending upon who the voice is determines who the voice is speaking.

Two or three people said. in voices just loud enough to be heard across the crowd, "Here comes your, Missus, Hutchinson," and "Bill, she made it after all."

In this example, the voices heard are random people throughout the crowd speaking to Bill Hutchinson. Tessie, his wife, is late getting to the lottery because she was washing dishes and "clean forgot what day it was."

Several voices in the crowd said things like "Good fellow, lack." and "Glad to see your mother's got a man to do it."

Here, again, random voices in the crowd are speaking. All of the voices here are talking to the Watson boy. While not head of the household, the Watson boy must draw given his father is not there and it is only the Watson boy and his mother left in their family.

"Here," a voice said. and Mr. Summers nodded.

In this example, the voice belongs to Old Man Warner. Mr. Summers has asked if Old Man Warner had made it to the lottery. The voice is that of Old Man Warner stating that he had, in fact, made it to the lottery to draw.

Then the voices began to say, "It's Hutchinson. It's Bill," "Bill Hutchinson's got it."

In this example, many voices are speaking. Bill Hutchinson has just opened his paper and found the black dot. People around him saw the dot and are acknowledging the fact that he held the dot in his hands. Therefore, the voices, here, are talking to everyone else in the crowd to let them know who has the black dot.

 

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