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“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson – Essay Essay

When a story is written in third person point -of-view there are three different types of this narration that can be used. The first is omniscient. This type of third person point-of-view is when the narrator has unlimited knowledge, including all of the characters thoughts and feelings, and much more. The objective point of view is when the narrator only has knowledge of what is in front of them. The narrator doesn’t know what the characters think, feel, or why they are doing the things they are doing. In limited point of view the narrator is only aware of one character and that characters thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.

In the story “Miss Brill” written by Katherine Mansfield the narration is third person point-of-view limited. The narrator follows one character around for the entirety of the story, Miss Brill. The reader remains aware of only this one characters thoughts, feelings, and surroundings for the whole story. I believe that limited point of view is appropriate for this story because it helps the reader understand why this woman goes to the park every Sunday and walks around watching people. If the story was written in third person objective the reader wouldn’t have any insight as to why this Miss Brill is at the park just watching people.

The events that happen in this story cannot be properly explained through third person objective point-of-view. If the story was written in third person omniscient we would gain insight about every character and what they were thinking and feeling. If this were how the story were written we would just be reading about a bunch of people who are at the park and what they are doing feeling and thinking, with not much purpose. The story was written in third person limited so that the reader could gain an understanding of merely Miss Brill and her thoughts and feelings.

In the story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson the narration is in third person point-of-view objective. The narrator speaks about the characters but not their thoughts or feelings. This point of view is appropriate for this story because the author wants the reader to be ignorant of what type of lottery is taking place until the very end of the story. If the story was written in third person omniscient the reader would gain knowledge of everything each character was feeling and know exactly what type of lottery it was from the beginning. There would be no element of surprise and therefore would lose some of its suspense. If the story was written in limited point-of-view the narrator would know the thoughts and feelings of one character of the story thus still allowing the reader to figure out what type of lottery it was. For these reasons, third person objective is the best type of narration for this story.

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