The Lottery

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Jack Watson Character Analysis

A youth who is old enough this year to draw in the lottery on behalf of himself and his mother. For this, he receives supportive words from the other villagers, who tell him he is a “good fellow” and that they’re “glad to see” his mother has a man to draw for the family.

Jack Watson Quotes in The Lottery

The The Lottery quotes below are all either spoken by Jack Watson or refer to Jack Watson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Juxtaposition of Peace and Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Farrar, Strauss and Giroux edition of The Lottery published in 2005.
The Lottery Quotes

A tall boy in the crowd raised his hand. “Here,” he said. “I'm drawing for my mother and me.” He blinked his eyes nervously and ducked his head as several voices in the crowd said things like “Good fellow, Jack,” and “Glad to see your mother's got a man to do it.”

Related Characters: Jack Watson (speaker)
Page Number: 296
Explanation and Analysis:

The first stage of the lottery features the head of each household drawing a piece of paper from the black box, and, in this case, the head of the Watson household is the son, a young man named Jack. This quote implies that Jack’s father is dead, as he is not present to represent his family as the other men do. Gender is prioritized over age, clearly, as Jack assumes responsibility for his mother because she is a woman, even though she is older. Jack's youth is clear from this passage, as he is described as a “boy” and he blinks “nervously” as he comes forward. Jack is encouraged by being called a “good fellow” and “a man,” clearly showing that manliness and good character are associated with leading a household. Women are not treated as leaders in the lottery.

The reaction of the villagers to Jack’s involvement highlights the traditional gender roles in this village: men lead and women follow. The support of the villagers encourages other young men to value the ability to lead, to take care of women (including their mothers), and to uphold tradition in the village.


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Jack Watson Character Timeline in The Lottery

The timeline below shows where the character Jack Watson appears in The Lottery. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Lottery
Family Structure and Gender Roles Theme Icon
The Power of Tradition Theme Icon
Dystopian Society and Conformity Theme Icon
Mr. Summers asks if the Watson boy is drawing this year. Jack Watson raises his hand and nervously announces that he is drawing for his mother and himself.... (full context)
Family Structure and Gender Roles Theme Icon
The Power of Tradition Theme Icon
Dystopian Society and Conformity Theme Icon select his slip of paper, he says that this is his seventy-seventh lottery. When Jack Watson steps forward, he receives several comments from the crowd reminding him to not be nervous... (full context)