“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson

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The author used third person point of view for this story. She described an un-named village that held a lottery every year. Whoever was picked from the black wooden box, was stoned to death. The position the author had, knew the outcome of the story. Therefore, she did not use perceptive on any of the characters. She gave a lot of information on following tradition, customs, society issues, and barbarism was even practiced in this story.

If the story was written third person- omniscient, the reader would know what type of lottery it was. The reader would have no surprise at the end. The reader would know enough about the characters to figure the story out. The author would list thoughts and reactions. Notice, the author did not put her own emotions in the story. If the story was written from a first-person point of view, the author might have added some emotions that would have watered down the story. Coming from a first person perceptive, the reader would feel the authors situation more than the plot. The story would still be suspenseful as is, because she never explained why the lottery existed. If the story was written mingling point of view, the story would have been divided between first person and third person. Honestly, the author could have used both. She could have told the story, but also placed her personal belief or emotions in the plot.

The conclusion does come as a surprise. The story goes from a happy summer festival, to a human sacrifice. Surprise was more of the savage coming out. I was more shocked about the civilians moving in on the poor lady. When she said, It isn't fair, it isn't right, before being stoned to death, that made the story alarming. The story also gave many hints that death was coming. Even Mr. Graves name was a symbol for death. With the children gathering stones, and Mrs. Hutchinson showing up late, she had it coming. The story tried to make it sound positive in the beginning, but showed it was only a death trap. The black dot on the ticket indicated that.

Whether the act of these people was superstition or motivation, it was a yearly tradition that was based on the outcome of the farmers corn harvest. Death was the way of punching them for their sins. For an example, the Bible mentions Joseph. He interpreted Pharaohs dream, which said Egypt would have seven good years harvest and seven bad. The reader cannot recall Joseph choosing an individual person to be sacrificed for the bad years. That was the difference of these stories. The Bible was not superstitious, and is still not today. Sacrifices were in the Bible also, but for the remission of sins. The world took it to extremes in cultures and tradition. Like the stones being thrown in the story, that was not a new ritual.

I believe this story is not completely horror, because the reader does not suspect a killing is involved. In a horror story, the reader is expecting death from the beginning. This story was defiantly surprising. The author wrote the story, to show readers violence, is still common and used in different ways.

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"The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. (2019, Nov 15). Retrieved June 18, 2024 , from

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