I chose Old Man Warner as a symbol for tradition and survival. He is the oldest person in the town and has spent his 77 years alive avoiding the lottery. Old Man Warner is very attached to the lottery, as it is the only tradition the town has left.
The first few lines of the story speak of the flowers "blossoming profusely and the grass richly green". Especially using the word profusely, this gives the reader a sense of warmth; they can actually see the bright colors when they read the story. It sets the tone of happy and cheerful.
In line 196, Old Man Warner says, "Next thing you know, they'll be wanting to go back to living in caves...live that way for a while". This is a hyperbole, an extreme exaggeration, of where Old Man Warner thinks that the new generation is heading. He is a very traditional man, and he feels that the young people are ruining his morals.
The overall tone of the story "The Lottery" is tense. Throughout the story, the author makes the reader infer the bad things that are going to happen; she never states that the purpose of the lottery is to kill someone, as tradition. The theme of the story is: Tradition is an important ritual to each society, and they all have their unique qualities.