What are Old Man Warner's character traits in "The Lottery"?

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The character of Old Man Warner is aptly named, since he is an old man who is always issuing dire warnings. He is cantankerous, curmudgeonly, and suspicious of all change and of youth itself. He seems always to have been old.

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Old Man Warner has experienced more of the town's lotteries than anyone else--77 in all. Older than all of the rest of his neighbors, he is a fanatic supporter of the lottery, and the talk about another local village considering its abolishment is "crazy" to him. He symbolizes the old ways of the past, and he will be the last man in the village to accept any kind of change. Unlike some of the others, who joke about their neighbors and allow their children to play games and "roll in the dust," Old Man Warner treats the lottery seriously. He is at the forefront of his neighbors when Tessie is designated as the "winner," encouraging them to "Come on, come on, everyone."

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What does the Old Man Warner character represent in "The Lottery"?

One of the major themes of "The Lottery" is the stupidity and cruelty of blindly adhering to tradition for its own sake. All the villagers do this, but Old Man Warner is the most recalcitrant and bigoted of them in his insistence that the lottery should be continued. Warner never advances any positive reason to account for the value of the lottery, but he says that the inhabitants of villages that are even considering abandoning it are "crazy fools." He continues bloviating:

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 that way for a while.

The irony here is that "living in caves" is precisely the sort of primitive behavior the reader is likely to associate with the practice of stoning a scapegoat to death.

Old Man Warner is aptly named. He is the oldest man in the community, and he is constantly warning everyone else against change. His warnings are based purely on the status accorded to his seniority. There is never any hint of why the villagers would be worse off if they were to discontinue the lottery.

It is interesting to note that, while Mr. and Mrs. Adams talk to Old Man Warner, no one ever replies to his comments or gives any opinion, positive or negative, on his views. It is perhaps one of the few positive signs in the story that the lottery's greatest proponent comes across as a solitary figure, grumbling about the possibility of change.

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Analyze the character of the Old Man Warner in Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”

The character of Old Man Warner is succinctly summed up in his name. He is an old man who likes warning people about things. Old Man Warner is the oldest male inhabitant of the small town which provides the setting for "The Lottery." His age gives him status in the community. Events are dated with reference to his birth, and Mr. Summers asks whether he is present before beginning the ritual. However, Old Man Warner is more of a cantankerous bystander than a participant in any of the events. His role is to stand on the sidelines and bark criticism, constantly complaining that things are not as they used to be and refusing even to consider the possibility that change might make things better. Old Man Warner's age is such an integral part of his character that it is impossible to imagine him ever being young.

In the story's presentation of insane conformity and blind adherence to tradition, Old Man Warner is the worst offender, since he insists that all change is bad. It is clear that he is seldom, if ever, challenged on this point, since he never gives the slightest reason for his opinions. When told that other towns have dispensed with the lottery, he merely growls that it will cause trouble and that those who countenance such innovation are "young fools." Youth, in Old Man Warner's mind, is synonymous with foolishness.

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