The Lottery and the Lesson

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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 view, third person limited point of view, first-person point of view, and the objective point of view. "The Lottery" is written in the objective point of view. Even though Jackson keeps her readers entertained by the suspense, she is pretty vague in describing the thoughts and feelings of the characters. She is more descriptive of the setting which gives the reader a clearer image while reading the story. Jackson describes what the characters were doing, what they were wearing and how the lottery was conducted, but does not go into detail of the how nervous some of the characters may have been at the thought of being chosen for the lottery. However, in "The Lesson", the story is told in the first person point of view. The first person point of view is used when the story is told by one of the characters in the story. It allows the character to give the reader the character's thoughts and opinions and to take action in the story. In the first person point of view, the Bambara uses a young girl name Sylvia as the narrator in this story. Sylvia gives the reader her version of how the story is told. Bambara tells the story through a young girl living in rough times though what appears to be in the era of the civil rights...
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