The Lottery Questions and Answers
by Shirley Jackson

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What is the point of view in "The Lottery"?

"The Lottery" is narrated from the third-person objective point of view.

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Shirley Jackson narrates her celebrated short story "The Lottery" using third-person objective narration. Unlike third-person omniscient narration, the objective perspective creates distance between the audience and the characters in the story. By utilizing third-person objective narration, the audience does not know the inner thoughts of each character and can only derive information regarding the characters' feelings and emotions by studying their behavior and dialogue. Third-person objective narration is also impersonal and neutral. Essentially, the audience is observing the brutal, outdated ritual and the citizens' reactions from an unbiased perspective.

By utilizing a third-person objective narrator, Jackson presents the horrific details of the lottery and allows the audience to draw their own conclusions regarding the violent ritual. It also preserves the mystery of the lottery, which is essential to the dramatic impact of the story. If Jackson were to utilize a third-person...

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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.