In the story, “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, the only point of view used by the author is the dramatic or objective point of view. In this point of view, the narrator is an unidentified speaker who reports things in great detail, even though the narrator does not play a role in the story. By using such point of view, Jackson builds an aura of uncertainty that endures until the dramatic ending of the story. From the beginning of the story, the knowledge about the lottery is revealed only by the characters themselves. The characters do not mention the details of the lottery; most of them just express their dislike for it, especially because they have to stop what they are doing to participate in the lottery. As the story progresses, not much changes regarding the knowledge about the lottery. People are waiting for their turn to draw from the black box. The state of uncertainty created by the lack of knowledge about the lottery is truly the main driver of the action. It is almost irritating not to know where the story is going. Yet, one wants to keep reading to eventually figure out what the lottery really is. Because there is a certainty that the end will bring the answers to all of the questions formulated throughout the story, one is inclined to submerge oneself deeper into the story and to try to figure out what will eventually happen. Therefore, it is predictable that an important ending will occur, which will bring with it an event that will clear up the entire story. Jackson accomplishes both objectives by giving the reader with a twist that not everyone would have expected. What at first seems to be a boring and simple tradition quickly transforms into an act of savagery. When the crowd stones Mrs. Hutchinson, it is almost as if all of the possible ideas about the lottery that one has imagined up to that point are violently struck down. Moreover, the end of this story is dramatic because it goes against the common belief of the peace and order experienced in a small village. In an environment ideal for creating a stable society, the reader gets a completely different picture, one of mob brutality and lack of lawfulness, a picture that is sure to inspire new opinions from the reader.Nevertheless, at the same time that the dramatic ending destroys any assertions about the lottery and its participants, the ending also serves to promote conclusions that reflect the new views of the reader regarding both the lottery and the people in it. By only presenting actions and words, the dramatic point of view in the story sets the perfect scenario for the reader to make his or her own conclusions. Although the narrator never says anything that will influence such conclusions, it is evident that these conclusions will reflect specific ideas. For example, when responding to the fact that other villages do not perform the lottery anymore, Old Man Warner bluntly states: “Pack of crazy fools. Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live that way for a while.” From this quote, two conclusions can be made: that there is a clear struggle of opinions between the old and the young of the village, and that some villagers have a different interpretation of what it means to be civilized. However, the main conclusion that one can come up with is that the people of this village do not act normal, at least on the day of the lottery, when compared to the prevalent Western beliefs of civilized behavior.In conclusion, the point of view in this story is what makes it a captivating and almost obsessing tale. By not knowing all of the implications of this lottery, the reader is left without any tangible facts from which to predict what will happen next. It is only until the truly dramatic ending of the story that one realizes what kind of environment one has been dealing with the entire time. But the effects of the dramatic point of view do not end with the ending of the story; after finishing the story, one unconsciously finds oneself formulating conclusions about the story, with the hope that such conclusions will help put the story into a clearer perspective.
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AnnaAugust 23, 2019 at 5:59 AM
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