Why doesn't old man Warner want to give up the lottery?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

There are three reasons why Old Man Warner does not want to give up the Lottery. 

First, Old Man Warner actually believes that the Lottery is good for the town. Twice he calls young people a "pack of fools," for even considering doing away with the Lottery. Tied to this point, he is a very traditional man. To change tradition is sacrilegious. 

Second, he believes that there will be a good harvest if the town continues with the Lottery. He give us a little jingle that he recalls from the past: "Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon." We don't know exactly what this means, but these words suggest that he believes that there is a connection between the Lottery and agriculture. 

Finally, Old Man Warner has been in the lottery over seventy times! A man who has been committed to something that long is not about to stop. Here is a quote:

"Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery," Old Man Warner said as he went through the crowd. "Seventy-seventh time."

Here is a quote that shows Old Man Warner's thoughts:

"They do say," Mr. Adams said to Old Man Warner, who stood next to him, "that over in the north village they're talking of giving up the lottery.

Old Man Warner snorted. "Pack of crazy fools," he said. "Listening to the young folks, nothing's good enough for them. Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live hat way for a while. Used to be a saying about 'Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.' First thing you know, we'd all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There's always been a lottery," he added petulantly. "Bad enough to see young Joe Summers up there joking with everybody."

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team