The Lottery and Other Stories

The lottery

What role does old man Warner play?

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Old Man Warner represents stubborn adherence to tradition for its own sake. He also gives one of the only clues as to the original intention of the lottery. On the surface the purpose of the lottery was to choose which "lucky" villager would have the "honor" of being ritualistically murdered. We find, through Old Man Warner, that the Lottery might once have been a sacrifice for better crops.

Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon

Most of the historical traditions and beliefs around the Lottery had been dropped. The villagers still took part in it as a matter of mindless ritual and a morbid sense of entertainment.