Point of View
There are several perspectives from which an author can write a story. However, at this time we will only focus on the third person point of view. An omniscient view is told by a narrator whose knowledge is unlimited or it is told by going into the minds of all the characters, as in "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" (rpt. in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 8th ed. [Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2002] 77). An objective point of view is told from any angle, but only provides the reader with what is seen and heard, such as in "The Lottery" (rpt. in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 8th ed. [Fort Worth: Harcourt, 2002] 263). Omniscient and objective viewpoints can be compared by what is revealed to the reader, angles from which the story is told, and through insight into the characters.
From an Omniscient viewpoint the author reveals as much or as little as he wants to the reader. In The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, Ernest Hemingway reveals everything to the reader. He takes the reader into the minds of all the characters, even into the mind of a hunted lion. The objective view used in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery tells the story as though it is told through the lens of a camera; "What you see is what you get."
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber is told through the eyes of Francis, Margot, Wilson, the lion, and even from the narrator. This point of view is very appropriate for this story because it allows the reader to see what the characters without giving away the ending. The Lottery is similar in the fact that what is revealed does not ruin the surprise ending. However, much less is revealed; instead of going into the minds of the characters it only provides the reader with what is heard and seen at certain parts of the town. Objective view works for this story because if we knew what the actual lottery was it would reveal the...
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