Point of View in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

Point of View in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

Length: 572 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Point of View in The Lottery

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" uses the third-person dramatic point of view to tell a story about an un-named village that celebrates a wicked, annual event. The narrator in the story gives many small details of the lottery taking place, but leaves the most crucial and chilling detail until the end: the winner of the lottery is stoned to death by the other villagers. The use of the third-person point of view, with just a few cases of third-person omniscient thrown in, is an effective way of telling this ironic tale, both because the narrator's reporter-like blandness parallels the villagers' apparent apathy to the lottery, and because it helps build to the surprise ending by giving away bits of information to the reader through the actions and discussions of the villagers without giving away the final twist.

"The Lottery" is primarily told in the third-person dramatic point of view, but on occasion the narrator becomes omniscient to divulge information to the reader that which is commonly known to the villagers. In paragraph 7, for example, the ...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson

- ... This could potentially give away what the lottery is and the purpose taking away the shock factor at the end. At times the narrator is at a distance and reports actions and general reactions. In addition, the nameless narrator has a good supply of extra information about the background of the lottery and also about the activities of Mr. Graves and Mr. Summers the night prior to the lottery. In the 6th paragraph Jackson says, “The night before the lottery, Mr. summers and Mr. Graves made up the slips of paper and put them in the box, and it was then taken to the safe of Mr....   [tags: The Lottery, Shirley Jackson, Stoning, Narrative]

Good Essays
1132 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Lottery By Shirley Jackson

- ... Once the lottery has begun, the different families become important as it is at this level that they first put themselves at risk as the male head of the house draws for his entire family. Once the first round is done, the unlucky family who selects the marked slip is essentially torn apart as each member’s concern is that of their own as they are no longer at risk as a family, but as the individual. Whittier calls attention to the breakdown of the families in his statement that the story “reveals the fragility of the nuclear family, which is necessary for the ritual of the lottery, but which the lottery effectively divides into competing individuals” (353)....   [tags: Short story, The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]

Good Essays
2047 words (5.8 pages)

The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson Essay

- Dramatic point of view contributes to tone and idea in the “The Lottery” In Shirley Jackson’s short story, “The Lottery” the use of the third-person dramatic point of view allow the readers to visualize themselves in a typical village spying on an annual lottery. However, in actuality they are about to realize that the subdued and ordinary townspeople have traditions that are much more sacred than a human life. Throughout the story, the third-person dramatic point of view contributes to the tone and idea as a result of Jackson’s effective use of language control, indifferent attitude and characters’ dialogue....   [tags: The Lottery Essays]

Good Essays
784 words (2.2 pages)

The Lottery, By Shirley Jackson Essay

- ... They viewed ravens this way because of their religion. In a similar aspect the traditions of the village had become a type of religion. They followed them so closely and had blind faith in that regard. Traditions are hard to break because they play a big part in a small, tight knit community such as this one. In a village community traditions go back for many, many years: “Seventy-seventh year I been in the lottery,’ Old Man Warner said as he went through the crowd”(294). That lottery has gone on for more than seventy-seven years with this black box....   [tags: The Lottery, Stoning, Rajm, Capital punishment]

Good Essays
1262 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

- Shirley Jackson’s famous short story, “The Lottery,” was published in 1948 and remains to this day one of the most enduring and affecting American works in the literary canon. “The Lottery” tells the story of a farming community that holds a ritualistic lottery among its citizens each year. Although the text initially presents audiences with a close-knit community participating in a social event together on a special day, the shocking twist at the work’s end—with the death of the lottery’s “winner” by public stoning—has led to its widespread popularity, public outcry and discussion, and continued examination in modern times (Jackson)....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery 2014]

Good Essays
4600 words (13.1 pages)

Essay about Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

- Analysis of The Lottery by Shirley Jackson “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson was written in 1948. The story takes place in a village square of a town on June 27th. The author does not use much emotion in the writing to show how the barbaric act that is going on is look at as normal. This story is about a town that has a lottery once a year to choose who should be sacrificed, so that the town will have a plentiful year for growing crops. Jackson has many messages about human nature in this short story....   [tags: The Lottery Shirley Jackson Sacrifices Essays]

Good Essays
696 words (2 pages)

Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essays

-      Why would a civilized and peaceful town would ever suggest the horrifying acts of violence can take place anywhere at anytime and the most ordinary people can commit them. Jackson's fiction is noted for exploring incongruities in everyday life, and “The Lottery”, perhaps her most exemplary work in this respect, examines humanity's capacity for evil within a contemporary, familiar, American setting. Noting that the story’s characters, physical environment, and even its climactic action lacks significant individuating detail, most critics view “The Lottery.” As a modern-day parable or fable, which obliquely addresses a variety of themes, including the dark side of human nature, the dange...   [tags: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson]

Free Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

Tradition or Cruelty in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Essay

- Tradition or Cruelty in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" satirizes barbaric traditions in a supposedly civilized village. As the story begins, the villagers appear to be fairly civilized and carry on fairly modern lifestyles. This is assumed by the men's discussion of planting, rain, tractors, and taxes. The lottery was outdated to such a degree that some may think that the tradition is primal competition of anthropoid beasts. On the other hand, some think that carrying on the tradition was necessary....   [tags: Shirley Jackson Lottery Essays]

Good Essays
2231 words (6.4 pages)

Morals and Values in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay

- Morals and Values in The Lottery by Shirley Jackson In Shirley Jackson's, "The Lottery", human morals and values are thrown away all for the pride of winning something. What is it that they really win. When you win the lottery in this story, you actually win death by stoning. Isn't that ironic, people actually being competitive and getting excited about death in public. What morals or values do these people really have, and how are they different from what common society is thought today. The first to gather in the square on the day of the lottery are the children....   [tags: The Lottery, Shirley Jackson]

Good Essays
568 words (1.6 pages)

The Shock of the novel The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Essay

- The Shock of the novel The Lottery by Shirley Jackson The first time I read “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, I thought it would be about someone in a desperate situation who wins a large amount of money. However, after reading the story I was shocked and disgusted like millions of other readers because of what the “lottery” was all about. After my shock wore off I thought about why the author had chosen to be so cynical. It occurred to me that she needed to shock people into changing for the better....   [tags: The Lottery Shirley Jackson Literature Essays]

Good Essays
540 words (1.5 pages)