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The author wanted to create the impression of a large gathering of people. She does this by using the word "crowd" repeatedly throughout the story. For example:

The crowd was quiet. A girl whispered, "I hope it's not Nancy," and the sound of the whisper reached the edges of the crowd.

Jackson also names many names in order to enhance the idea of a crowd. Some of the names are used with variations. For instance, Mr. Summers is also called Joe, and Mrs. Hutchinson is also called Tessie and Tessie Hutchinson. Here is a list of all the names mentioned in the story in order of naming:

  • 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 Anderson
  • Bentham Clark
  • Mr. Delacroix
  • Harburt
  • Bill Hutchinson
  • Jones
  • Mrs. Adams
  • Overdyke
  • Percy
  • Don
  • Eva
  • Bill Hutchinson, Jr.
  • Nancy Hutchinson
  • Nancy Hutchinson’s unnamed school girlfriends
  • Dave Hutchinson
  • Mrs. Graves

Clyde Dunbar is not present because he is home with a broken leg. But the questions and answers about him help to show that attendance at this ritual is compulsory unless someone has a valid excuse. In other words, it shows that everyone else is present. They can't escape by staying away. Mrs. Dunbar draws for her household in place of her husband.

When Tessie Hutchinson is selected as this year's victim, Old Man Warner helps to create the impression of the entire mass of about three hundred villagers converging on her with stones. He says: "Come on, come on, everyone."

Steve Adams was in front of the crowd of villagers. It is interesting that Steve Adams had just been hinting to Old Man Warner that it might be possible to give up this annual lottery.

"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."

Yet Steve Adams is joining Old Man Warner in leading the crowd of Tessie's friends, neighbors and relatives all armed with stones.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
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