The Role of the Narrator in The Lottery and A&P

Satisfactory Essays
A story cannot be told without a narrator. In order for a story to be interesting and

presentable it is important to have a narrator for a story. A narrator basically tells the story. He

or she can either be part of a story or could also be outside the story as an observer. It is

important for a story to have a narrator because through the narrator the reader gets to feel the

and understand the thoughts and feelings of all the characters involved in the story. Readers can

picture the setting of the story thorough the narrator's eyes, and get into the minds of the

characters through the narrator's mind. When telling a story, choosing a narrator is very crucial

and important. Depending on who the narrator is a story can lead the reader to different

interpretations since different narrators can have different points of views. Changing a narrator

can change the whole story since different narrators have different points of view. How one

narrator feels about a character can be totally different compared to how another narrator feels

about that character. For example, one narrator might not think of a villian character as a villian

and view that character as a hero of the story, giving reader a different points of view about that


In the story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson the narrator is a third person who is not a

character in the story. The narrator informs the reader about all the events that takes place in the

story and also tells the reader how each of the characters feel about different aspects of the story.

Whereas in the story by John Updike, A & P, the narrator, Sammy, is one of the characters of the

story. Also in A & P the narrator describes the events taking place in the story and describes his

feelings towards the other characters. Since the narrator is one of the characters in A & P, the

reader is limited to the amount of information given by the narrator. Meaning, the reader only

gets to see what the narrator wants the reader to see. For example, towards the beginning of the

story Sammy describes the three girls who enters the drug store. Sammy describes the type of

clothing each girl is wearing, and also gives the reader his own interpretation about the kind of
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