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The Lottery | Study Guide

Shirley Jackson

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Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe explains the main characters in Shirley Jackson's short story The Lottery.

The Lottery | Characters

Character Description
Tessie Hutchinson Tessie Hutchinson, a housewife, is the story's main character and the winner—or victim—of the lottery. She's the mother of four, one married daughter and three young children, and the wife of Bill Hutchinson. Read More
Bill Hutchinson Bill Hutchinson is Tessie Hutchinson's husband and the father of their four children. He is the head of household chosen in the first lottery drawing. Read More
Mr. Summers Mr. Summers is the lottery official. He runs the local coal business year-round. He is the head of many civic events in the village, such as the square dance and the teenage club. Read More
Old Man Warner Old Man Warner is the oldest man in town. The lottery tradition is even older than he is, and he respects it accordingly. He has drawn in the lottery for 77 years. Read More
Mr. Adams Mr. Adams is the first head of household to draw in the lottery since the names are called in alphabetical order. He and his wife tell Old Man Warner that some nearby towns are thinking of giving up lotteries or have done so already, suggesting they are open to the possibility of change. However Mr. Adams is in the front of the villagers when the stoning begins, indicating that he has given in to the tradition.
Mrs. Adams Mrs. Adams mentions that some places have "already quit lotteries."
Dickie Delacroix Dickie Delacroix is Mr. and Mrs. Delacroix's young son. He is seen gathering stones as the story opens.
Mr. Delacroix Mr. Delacroix (a name that translates as "of the cross") is a lottery participant, drawing for himself, his wife, and his son.
Mrs. Delacroix Mrs. Delacroix is a housewife and the mother of young Dickie Delacroix. She is mild mannered and encourages Tessie to "be a good sport" when her family's name is drawn.
Horace Dunbar Horace Dunbar is a boy who is not old enough to select a slip on behalf of his family.
Mrs. Dunbar Mrs. Dunbar is a housewife. She fills in for her invalid husband as the head of household during the lottery. She is nervous in taking her husband's place in the lottery but shows courage by doing so anyway. She also wants to escape the censure of the villagers, some of whom don't approve of a woman drawing for her family.
Mr. Graves Mr. Graves, the postmaster, assists Mr. Summers with the practicalities of conducting the lottery. He is committed to following the rules and making the lottery process run as smoothly as possible.
Mrs. Graves Mrs. Graves is the wife of Mr. Graves. She is cordial to her neighbors and a willing lottery participant. She is in front of the crowd when the stoning begins. Mrs. Graves reminds Tessie that everyone in the lottery took the same chance.
Bill Hutchinson Jr. Bill Jr. is Bill and Tessie Hutchinson's oldest son. He is not yet old enough to draw for himself as a head of household, so he draws with his family during the final lottery drawing.
Davy Hutchinson Davy Hutchinson is Bill and Tessie Hutchinson's youngest son. He draws with his family during the final lottery drawing. During the stoning, he is given a few pebbles to participate in killing his mother.
Eva Hutchinson Eva is Bill and Tessie's oldest daughter. Since she is married, she draws with her husband's family and does not participate in the final lottery drawing with the rest of the Hutchinsons.
Nancy Hutchinson Nancy is Bill and Tessie Hutchinson's 12-year-old daughter. She draws with her family.
Bobby Martin Bobby is Mr. Martin's young son. He is seen gathering stones as the story opens.
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin is the grocer who assists Mr. Summers in conducting the lottery.
Watson boy The Watson boy is a lottery participant drawing for himself and his mother.
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