The Lottery and Other Stories


3. In what ways are the characters differentiated from one another? Looking back at the story, can you see why Tessie Hutchinson is singled out as the "winner"?

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The names of the characters can hold an irony. Mr. Summers is the host of the lottery yet there is nothing happy about it. He is pleasant enough but he tries to hide the dark reality of it by using euphemisms. Mr. Graves is another ironic name. Most of the people are friendly towards one another but there is always a hidden sense of foreboding. Tessie happened to have the black dot. The focus on her was yet another example of irony as well as hypocrisy that exists beneath the cheery surface of people. Tessie seems fine with the lottery until she holds the dreaded black dot. We can surmise that other characters might have had similar feelings had they "won" the lottery.