She watched while Mr. Graves came around from the side of the box, greeted Mr. Summers gravely, and selected a slip of paper from the box.

Here, the narrator describes the moments Mrs. Graves watches her husband draw the slip of paper for their family. Even though he actively participates in making the lottery happen, Mr. Graves still greets Mr. Summers solemnly when his turn to draw arrives. While Mr. Graves plays a crucial role in making the lottery happen every year, like everyone else he hopes to not draw the marked paper.

Mr. Graves had selected the five slips and put them in the box, and he dropped all the papers but those on the ground, where the breeze caught them and lifted them off.

The narrator explains that, although Mr. Summers seems to be in charge of the lottery, Mr. Graves makes most of the proceedings happen. Even amidst Tessie’s cries of protest, he doesn’t hesitate to drop the names of the family into the box. The image of the other slips of paper being “lifted off” by the breeze represents how free the other villagers must have felt knowing their safety was secure for another year. To them, Mr. Graves holds the key to their fate.

Mr. Graves took the hand of the little boy, who came willingly with him up to the box.

The narrator describes how, after Mr. Summers directs Mr. Graves to help Davy draw a slip of paper, Mr. Graves does so without hesitation. Even though he knows what may happen when Davy draws that slip, Mr. Graves holds his hand and acts as a protector, an act that enables Davy to go to the box willingly with him.