The Lottery Questions and Answers
by Shirley Jackson

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How would Shirley Jackson's story "The Lottery" be different if it was told in the first person point of view by Tessie Hutchinson? Show at least two places in the text where the story would change.

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Adam Worcester eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I can only speculate, but if The Lottery were written from Tessie Hutchinson's viewpoint, it would have to be significantly reworked to set up the ending plot twist and preserve the story's sense of lethal surprise.

For instance, when readers first meet Tessie, she is arriving late to the lottery drawing, saying she "clean forgot" the significance of the date, realizing it only when she looked out her window and saw her husband and son gone. In first person, this explanation would call for more detail. It's difficult to believe any villager could forget the date, given that their life is at stake. A reader might conclude from the narrative that Tessie is nervous, and making a joke to slough it off. In first person, the author would be hard-pressed to show Tessie is nervous without explaining why—in other words, without revealing her thoughts and feelings as the lottery process unfolds. It is precisely the people's hidden thoughts and feelings, however, expressed in brief moments of

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