Archetypes In The Lottery

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Pages: 3

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson uses different characters who stand as symbols of society's archetypes providing a dark glimpse into human's true nature. The pivotal characters that stand as archetypes are the unnamed crowd who represent the mob mentality that defines society, Bill Hutchison who fails to protect his wife revealing his focus on protecting his own life , and Mr. Summers who oversees the "lottery" that condemns a member of the community to death by stoning.

The villagers all assemble to draw slips of paper out of a mysterious box. When Tessie's name is drawn the villagers immediately begin to close in on her ignoring her pleas and claims of the lottery being rigged and unfair. The text states "Tessie Hutchinson was in the center of a cleared space by now, and she held her hands out desperately as the villagers moved in on her. “It isn’t fair,” she said". The mob mentality of the villagers reveals the dark evil that resides in humans that becomes increasingly easier when there is a large group that is seeking the same evil goal. This aspect of the story reveals the innate wickedness that is activated when humans are a member of a large group.

Bill Hutchison suffers the misfortune of having
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Summers reveals the authority and the thirst to maintain power or the status quo in human nature along with the brutish nature of humans. His job as head of the lottery process is to ensure that the lottery continues to run regardless of who falls victim to receiving the black dot. Mr. Summers feels no compassion towards the fate of the family and he acts quickly to regain control over the situation because if the lottery is threatened his position will be too. The text states " All right, folks. ” Mr. Summers said. “Let’s finish quickly. “ This speaks to the callousness in human nature that responds to tragedies and death with little emotion. You can reasonably infer that Mr.Summers has become desensitized and therefore cannot empathize with the