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

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

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

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The point of view in this story is the third-person point of view. That means the narrator is not one of the characters in the story. The narrator uses pronouns such as "he," "she," and "they." The narrator of this story is also telling the story from the omniscient point of view. The narrator is capable of jumping from person to person and group to group. That allows readers to experience descriptions from a wide, overview perspective, and it allows readers to essentially eavesdrop on various conversations as if we are a part of them. This perspective allows readers to feel as if we are a part of the lottery while at the same time being separate from its procedures.

The third-person perspective is important for this story because it allows the narration to describe the lottery in a natural sequence. If the story were told from Tessie Hutchinson's perspective, for example, readers might be alerted early to the true nature of the annual lottery.


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vakrahe | eNotes Newbie

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"The Lottery" is in 3rd person objective point of view.  It is the "roving camera," similar to Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants."

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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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.