Tell Tale Heart and the Lottery

Categories: The Tell Tale Heart

American author Henry James believed characters are only as interesting as their reactions to particular circumstances. The declaration he made can be supported by numerous pieces of literature that we have actually come across. The way a character reacts to the scenario they are put in can tell a lot about their true character. Two characters were positioned in various circumstances in "The Telltale Heart" written Edgar Allan Poe and "The Lottery" written by Shirley Jackson responses will be talked about in this essay.

In "The Tell-Tale Heart" the renter believed he would get away with the murder he had, however dedicated broken under the pressure. Initially when the cops provides got in the house he was he had the ability to keep his composure, however he slowly began to break. My head hurt, and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but still they sat and still talked. The ringing became more unique:-- it continued and ended up being more distinct: I talked more easily to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and got definitiveness-- up until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

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(Poe 390) At this moment the guy began to hear things in his mind. He was picturing the beating of the old guy's heart. Prior to his deception the reader most likely believed he would get away with the murder.

Lastly the man can no longer take the noise of the old male's heart pounding below the flooring boards.

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"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble say goodbye to! I confess the deed!-- wreck the planks!-- here, here!-- it is the whipping of his hideous heart!" (Poe 391) I think he told the officers about the old male's body due to the fact that his conscience got to him. If he resembled many cold, blooded killers his conscience would not have actually told him he had actually done something wrong.

In "The Lotto" when the Hutchinson family at first draws the notepad from the old black box, Tessie continuously pleads to do the redo the illustration of the names. She states, "You didn't give him time adequate to take any paper he desired. I saw you. It wasn't fair!"(Jackson 267). Although the drawing of her household's name was done completely reasonable she tries to come up with some excuse. Although her entire household, including her kids, at first had the potential to be stoned she was the only one who desired a redrawing done.

When Tessie’s realized she had the paper she did not even try to say goodbye to her family. Most people, even criminals today, would rather spend their last moments saying goodbye to their loved ones. Tessie on the other hand continually said, "It isn't fair, it isn't right"(Jackson 269). With her continually saying this isn’t fair or right this shows she does not believe in the system her town used. When she first got to the lottery she made a joke about leaving the dishes, as if she was okay with what was about to take place.

When her family’s name was drawn her true feeling were shown. She obviously did not agree with having a human sacrifice in order to better her town’s chances of having a good harvest. Both the man from and Tessie were placed in some an extremely tense situation, and both reacted in a similar manner. The man cracked under the pressure of killing the old man and Tessie Hutchinson lost her composure when she found out she was the one who would be stoned. Henry James quote of “characters are only as interesting as their responses to particular situations” was confirmed from the above reading because both of the characters show a different, more interesting, side of themselves when they faced with a predicament.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Tell Tale Heart and the Lottery. (2016, Dec 12). Retrieved from

Tell Tale Heart and the Lottery essay
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