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The Lottery Short Story Analysis

In the short story The Lottery, Jackson shows how positions of power are important to the characters that possess them and have consequences for other characters.
Mr. Summers was the leader of the lottery and he was the most powerful man in town. Someone had to be in charge of the lottery and it just so happened to be Mr. Summers: “The lottery was conducted--as were the square dances, the teen club, the Halloween program--by Mr. Summers-- who had time and energy to devote to civic activities” (Jackson). The people of the town were not very intelligent and they just accepted the fact that Mr. Summers was in charge. He was a clean cut guy that looked like someone of importance. Today, there are things that involve politics that do not make much sense to most people but they occur anyways. The people of the town
Also, the people without power were usually left out. Mrs. Hutchinson was picked for the lottery and there was nothing she could do about it: “‘I think we ought to start over,’ Mrs. Hutchinson said, as quietly as she could. ‘I tell you it wasn't fair. You didn't give him time enough to choose. Everybody saw that’” (Jackson). Tessie claimed that Mr. Hutchinson was rushed into selecting his paper making the lottery unfair. He should not have been rushed but no one really cared. Mr. Summers had power and he was instructing people to hurry up. The people feared power and they went along with what Mr. Summers was saying because he had power. Tessie was the victim of power in this case. In politics, someone is always the “odd man out” and it may not be fair but it is what it is.
“…until now it was felt necessary only for the official to speak to each person approaching. Mr. Summers was very good at all this; in his clean white shirt and blue jeans. With one hand resting carelessly on the black box. He seemed very proper and important as he talked interminably to Mr. Graves and the Martins.” The people in the town were very gullible and they really just believed whatever ideas popped in their heads. They saw Mr. Summers, a clean cut guy with nice clothes and they respected him just for that reason. Mr. Summers has to be of higher social status because he is looked highly upon and he is also wearing clean nice clothes. Someone of higher social status is also likely to act “proper.” The proper actions caused him to have power in this case. Having power in this town was dangerous and its easy for the reader to believe that it got to Mr. Summer head a little bit.





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