by Shirley Jackson
Character Role Analysis
The protagonist is, strictly speaking, supposed to be the hero of the story. But does "The Lottery" have a hero? We mean, there's Tess Hutchinson, we guess, but for all of the fact that she's the victim of the lottery, her death is almost incidental to the process of the story. It's the foil for the villagers' self-defeating quest for group coherence: they murder one of their own every year so that those who remain can bond over the event. But, by murdering one of their own every year, how much trust can they really share? Mrs. Delacroix turns on a dime to help kill Tess Hutchinson; she thinks nothing of it. So the village itself seems to us to be the hero with the fatal flaw: it's trying to remain cohesive as a unit, but at what cost?