In "The Lottery," assess how point of view preserves the story's suspense.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Shirley Jackson's short story, "The Lottery," is written from a third person point of view. By omitting the availability of each character's private thoughts, the reader is introduced to the lottery as it happens. Given that none of the character's dialogue directly points to what the lottery actually is, suspense builds for the reader.

While some of the villagers question the continuance of the lottery, Old Man Warner declares the discontinuation of the lottery as foolish. As the crowd gathers, readers can see the anxiety building, but are not given any reason as to why. The questioning of the continuance and the anxious villagers lead to the reader's growing suspense.

Essentially, by not using a first or second person narration, readers are left in the dark about the truth behind the lottery. If readers would have been provided with a character's point of view, they would have been very aware of the truth behind what was about to happen.

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