The Lottery and the Lesson Essay

945 Words Feb 15th, 2008 4 Pages
Several questions must be addressed while comparing the point of view between the two short stories "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson and "The Lesson" by Toni Bambara. The narrative point of view is defined by who is telling the story. In order to determine which points of view each story was written in, the following questions must be answered. Who is the narrator in the story? How much information does the narrator give the reader about the characters in the story? How much does the narrator really know? To be able to compare and contrast the points of view in each story, the reader must be able to answer the questions at hand.
The narrative points of view is broken into four different categories known as the omniscient point of
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She begins the story giving the reader the exact date that the story has taken place. It wasn't just any day, but it was June 27th, the day of the official lottery. Jackson shows the reader that this was a tradition that took place year after year. She goes on to describe the setting as "…clear and sunny, with the fresh warmth of a full-summer day; the flowers were blossoming profusely and the grass was richly green." By her description, the reader is able to envision the setting of the story. Jackson keeps the reader in suspense of what the lottery really is. The reader is bound to think that only good will come from winning a lottery and wouldn't think that winning a lottery meant to sacrifice a person's life. She describes how Tessie is on edge because her husband, Bill Hutchinson, drew the spotted paper everyone was scared to draw. In a normal lottery, everyone is looking for that winning ticket. This leaves the reader questioning what is really going on with this lottery the town is conducting and the reader is compelled to continue reading to the end of the story. Griffin describes the people of the short story, "The Lesson" as acting in a sort of gruesome ritual. By sacrificing one of their people, they believe they are relieving their souls due to sins they have committed. Griffin states that the people believe that by sacrificing one of their own was like asking to be forgiven for their sins. In

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