Character development is a process that defines the direction of a play or novel because of the perspectives of individuals in the story. Even though fictitious characters in books represent an ideology that affects the attitude of individuals towards life. Despite their ability to overcome challenges taking place in their surroundings, readers are triggered by the approaches of characters in their interactions with other people in their surroundings. Summers in The Lottery brings out specific thematic concerns that demonstrate the dangers associated with following traditions blindly. While Summers appears to be the custodian of cultural practice in the village, his leadership is questionable as no one appointed him to perform the deadly rituals that affect people’s lifestyles. Murder has become a ritual in the town with Summers overseeing the process that no one has expressed an interest in questioning its viability in the community. Jackson developed Summers to highlight the effects of autonomous authority in contemporary society amidst growing concerns from individuals. Mr. Summers in The Lottery is a jovial but ruthless character who represents the antihero narrative by his desire to pursue a twisted concept of life that condemns people to death through a lottery he controls.
Summers is an influential individual in the village because of his role in overseeing the murder ritual that has become a tradition in the town. Every family has to participate in the lottery, where the family that is unfortunately lucky is stoned to death. His personal life attracts pity because of his nagging wife and childless marriage that is considered a misfortune in the community. However, he compensates for his shortcomings by overseeing the murder tradition that evokes fear across the village. While nobody remembers Summers being appointed to occupy the role of an executioner, he wields enough power to command individuals to participate in the ritual. The significance of the ceremony is not described in the story because of the disconnect between Summers and the rest of the village population. Given the fact that his leadership on the issue has not being questioned, Summers only hopes to continue executing the role and determining those who are condemned to death by the people.
The inability of the villagers to question Mr. Summers’s leadership presents readers with an exciting scenario where they can evaluate their understanding of the conflict between the protagonist and other characters. The lack of focus demonstrated by individuals who encounter a series of challenges defines the nature of outcomes that can be recorded in the contemporary world. However, the story captures an astonishing detail that highlights the randomness of persecution that affects the interactions between individuals in their immediate environment. Even though Tessie’s husband had the opportunity to protect her from the mob judgment, he appeared contented that she chose the lottery ticket (Jackson 28). The creation of Summers’s character is inspired by the need to exploit the gullible nature of individuals and expose the readers to an enabling environment where they can overcome issues affecting them in their immediate environment. One of the approaches that hinder individuals from making informed decisions is influenced by the constant need to accomplish certain aspects of social interaction.
Mr. Summers’s commitment to creating the winning lottery ticket that warrants the killing of the unlucky villager has been factored in his character development. The narrator describes the process of developing the ticket and the time spent to accomplish this goal after the unlucky winner is identified. Contrary to many lotteries in the new community, Mr. Summers’ project contravenes the rules of social existence and exposes individuals to a challenging environment that affects their nature of interactions with other people in the village. Tessie is unlucky for choosing the right ticket, which initiates the brutal process of stoning her to death. Against the premise of the tradition that defined the onset of the ritual, Mr. Summers still held on to the process even after the imminent danger was long gone. From this realization, creating a scenario where people can correlate with Mr. Summers’s ability to wield power in the village without encountering any challenges is one of Jackson’s secret approach that defines the plot in the play.
Mr. Summers in The Lottery is a jovial but ruthless character who represents the antihero narrative by his desire to pursue a twisted concept of life that condemns people to death through a lottery he controls. Jackson developed Summers to highlight the effects of autonomous authority in contemporary society amidst growing concerns from individuals. In his interactions with other people, Mr. Summers evokes pity because of his personal life that is defined by a nagging wife who distracts him from undertaking his manly duties. However, his influence in the lottery appears to compensate for the weaknesses that affect the nature of interactions between him and other villagers. By focusing on the plot of the book, readers can identify specific aspects that rely heavily on Mr. Summers’ ability to wield power in a village defined by gullible people.
Jackson, Shirley. “The lottery.” The New Yorker 26 (1948): 25-28.