How does the lottery affect Tessie Hutchinson's family and exemplify plot's influence on characters?

Quick answer:

The lottery affects Tessie Hutchinson's family by causing internal friction and disunity as they all fear for their personal safety. When Bill Hutchinson draws the fatal black spot, Tessie protests vehemently, revealing a ruthless streak as she tries to involve others. The plot's influence on characters is evident when Tessie intuitively senses her doomed fate, and her family members, relieved they're safe, coldly disregard their mother's impending death, showcasing the lottery's dehumanizing effect.

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Near the end of "The Lottery," Bill Hutchinson draws the slip with the black spot in the first round, which means that someone in his family will be stoned to death. This immediately begins to cause friction within the family and between Bill's wife Tessie and some of people in the assembled crowd. Although Tessie is the most voluble, the reader can sense that all the members of the Hutchinson family are starting to worry about their own personal welfare and are no longer a cohesive family unit. This is a good example of how the plot can influence the characters, because it would have been the same with any other family if a different head of family had drawn the black spot.

Tessie begin to protest before the second drawing begins.

Suddenly, Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers, "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!"

"Be a good sport, Tessie," Mrs. Delacroix called, and Mrs. Graves said, "All of us took the same chance."

"Shut up, Tessie," Bill Hutchinson said.

As the head of the Hutchinson family, Bill feels responsible for keeping his wife and children in order. This is the point where the reader begins to realize the deadly seriousness of the lottery. Tessie won't shut up. She reveals a ruthless streak in her nature by trying to draw more people into danger.

"There's Don and Eva," Mrs. Hutchinson yelled. "Make them take their chance!"

Eva is the Hutchinsons' married daughter. Tessie seems willing to sacrifice anyone rather than be that year's scapegoat, but all the members of her family are feeling the same way, and all the people in the crowd are feeling vast relief that they are safe for another year. They are looking at Tessie with cold eyes. Nothing she could think of to say would have any effect on them.

One by one, the Hutchinsons draw their slips in the second round. Tessie seems to sense intuitively that she is destined to pick the black spot. Mr. Graves has to help little Davie Hutchinson draw his slip because he is too young to understand what is going on.

Mr. Graves opened the slip of paper and there was a general sigh through the crowd as he held it up and everyone could see that it was blank. Nancy and Bill. Jr. opened theirs at the same time, and both beamed and laughed, turning around to the crowd and holding their slips of paper above their heads.

"Tessie," Mr. Summers said. There was a pause, and then Mr. Summers looked at Bill Hutchinson, and Bill unfolded his paper and showed it. It was blank.

Nancy and Bill, Jr. beam and laugh. This is rather horrible. They are only thinking about themselves and not about the fact that it will either be their father or their mother who has drawn the fatal slip. Not only that, but they seem unperturbed by the knowledge that they will be expected to participate in the finale. By this point the reader knows what to expect. All those stones could only have been gathered for one purpose. Tessie has attended many of these lotteries in the past and knows what it looks like when several hundred people stone one cowering man, woman or child to death. There is a frenzy that surges through the pitiless crowd. They all want to participate in what might be called "the moment of truth," to borrow a term from bullfighting.

"It isn't fair, it isn't right," Mrs. Hutchinson screamed, and then they were upon her.

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