Old Man Warner Character Analysis

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About this sample


Words: 547 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

Words: 547|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 5, 2024

In Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery," the character of Old Man Warner is a fascinating study in tradition, superstition, and the fear of change. Old Man Warner serves as a symbol of the entrenched beliefs and customs that govern the town's annual lottery. Through his words and actions, he embodies the resistance to progress and the preservation of outdated rituals that ultimately lead to tragedy.

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Old Man Warner is portrayed as a staunch defender of the lottery, which he sees as an essential part of the community's identity and cohesion. He dismisses any suggestion that the lottery is unnecessary or barbaric, insisting that it has always been done and must continue to be done. His adherence to tradition is so strong that he becomes angry and defensive when others question the lottery's purpose or morality. This reveals a deep-seated fear of change and a reluctance to question the established order, even when it may be harmful or unjust. His inflexible stance on the lottery demonstrates a refusal to adapt to changing societal norms, highlighting his stubbornness and aversion to anything outside of his established beliefs.

Despite his advanced age, Old Man Warner is portrayed as sharp-witted and alert, with a keen understanding of human nature. He is quick to criticize the younger generation for their perceived lack of respect and gratitude, believing that they do not appreciate the sacrifices of the past. This suggests a sense of entitlement and superiority on his part, as he views himself as the keeper of tradition and the guardian of the community's values. His refusal to acknowledge the flaws and consequences of the lottery reflects a narrow-mindedness and stubbornness that ultimately contribute to its perpetuation. Old Man Warner's character shows a lack of empathy and understanding for the younger generation, further highlighting his inability to see beyond his own perspective.

Old Man Warner's character is also marked by a strong sense of superstition and fear. He believes that the lottery is necessary to ensure a good harvest and ward off evil spirits, despite the lack of evidence or logic to support this belief. His reliance on tradition and ritual as a means of control and protection reveals a deep-seated insecurity and vulnerability, as he clings to these practices in the face of uncertainty and change. This fear of the unknown drives him to defend the lottery at all costs, even when it results in tragedy and loss. Old Man Warner's superstition highlights his inability to think critically and rationally, which ultimately leads to the perpetuation of a harmful tradition.

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In conclusion, Old Man Warner is a complex and compelling character whose beliefs and actions reveal the dark side of tradition and superstition. Through his unwavering support of the lottery and his resistance to change, he embodies the dangers of blindly following established customs without question or reflection. His character serves as a cautionary tale about the power of fear and tradition to shape our beliefs and behaviors, and the importance of challenging these ingrained patterns in order to create a more just and equitable society. Old Man Warner is a reflection of the dangers of remaining entrenched in outdated customs and beliefs, and his character is a reminder of the importance of critical thinking and challenging the status quo for the betterment of society.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Old Man Warner Character Analysis. (2024, March 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
“Old Man Warner Character Analysis.” GradesFixer, 05 Mar. 2024,
Old Man Warner Character Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
Old Man Warner Character Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 05 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from:
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