Comparative Essay: The Drunkard and The Lottery

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Comparative Essay

There are many techniques that authors use to communicate their message within their work. Each of these literary techniques has their own purpose in influencing how the reader perceives what he or she reads. Frank O'Connor, the author of the short story "The Drunkard," and Shirley Jackson, the author of "The Lottery," used the literary technique of different points of view to portray their underlying messages. The story "The Drunkard" is written in a first person reflective point of view, while, "The Lottery" is written in a third person objective point of view. Despite that these stories are written in two completely opposite points of view, they are still both consistent in conveying their messages to the reader.

The first person point of view allows the story to be told from the narrator's perspective; which tends to be more personal. The short story "The Drunkard" is written in the first person reflective point of view, which means the narrator is reflecting on a memory from his or her past. The narrator in "The Drunkard," also named Larry, is describing a memory from his childhood from when he was eight years old. The memory mainly revolves around his father. Due to the story being written from this specific point of view, the reader is able to dive inside Larry's head and learn of his thoughts and feelings towards his father. Larry describes his father as "a well-read man [that] could appreciate an intelligent talker," and he introduces his father's addiction by saying, "Drink you see, was [his] great weakness" (281 -282). Also the reflective manner of the point of view allows the reader to understand how Larry viewed his father as a child, "he was first up in the morning and brought the mother a cup of tea in bed, stayed home in the evenings and read the paper; saved money and...He laughed at the folly of the men who week in, week out, left their hard- earned money with the publicans," along with his thoughts...
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