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Explain the point of view in "The Lottery".

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lou941 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 15, 2010 at 5:27 PM via web

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Explain the point of view in "The Lottery".

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted March 15, 2010 at 5:26 PM (Answer #1)

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The point of view of "The Lottery" is the dramatic or third-person objective. The narrator is an unnamed witness who is moving invisibly though the crowd, and thus is able to see and hear what is happening and how the townsfolk are responding. Sometimes the narrator seems close enough to people to hear and report what they say. At other times he or she is at a distance and thus simply 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 Messieurs Graves and Summers the night before.

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 15, 2010 at 11:12 PM (Answer #2)

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The third person point of view allows readers to be a fly on the wall of a story. This is of extreme value in Jackson's The Lottery because of the dramatic contrast between the normal routine of society and the actual outcome of the purpose of the lottery. If the point of view was different, for example a first person point of view, value or bias or judgment would be involved and inserted in their narration. This would potentially give away what the lottery is, and that is not Jackson's intention, she relies on the element of surprise.

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