Study Guide

The Lottery Family

By Shirley Jackson

Family

"The Lottery"
Mr. (Joe) Summers

"Daughters draw with their husbands' families, Tessie," Mr. Summers said gently. "You know that as well as anyone else." (51)

This passage is simply more evidence that the villagers are organized as a patriarchy. Families are defined by male heads of household.

Tess Hutchinson

Bill Hutchinson was standing quiet, staring down at the paper in his hand. Suddenly. Tessie Hutchinson shouted to Mr. Summers. "You didn't give him time enough to take any paper he wanted. I saw you. It wasn't fair!" (46)

Is Tess defending her family, or is she more concerned about her own fate?

"There's Don and Eva," Mrs. Hutchinson yelled. "Make them take their chance!"

"Daughters draw with their husbands' families, Tessie," Mr. Summers said gently. "You know that as well as anyone else." (50)

This passage answers the previous question – Tess Hutchinson is clearly willing to sacrifice members of her own family if it means she can avoid the lottery.

And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles. (78)

The lottery encourages family member to turn on family member.

The Delacroix Family

"There goes my old man." Mrs. Delacroix said. She held her breath while her husband went forward. (26)

Mrs. Delacroix is not nervous on behalf of her husband, but rather on behalf of herself.