Last Updated 27 May 2020

A Rose for Emily & the Lottery

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Thuan Nguyen Dr. Robert Janusko English II 2/17/13 A Rose for Emily & The Lottery Many short stories use a technique where they conceal the ending of the story while preparing the reader for the ending. In order to do that, the author uses methods of point of view and foreshadowing. In “A rose for Emily” written by William Faulkner and “The Lottery “written by Shirley Jackson, the authors use both methods. The point of view used by William Faulkner in “A Rose for Emily” is in 1st person narration where the narrator is the observer of the protagonist.

In Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” she uses 3rd person point of view in which the narrator is not involved in the story. Like most stories, “A Rose for Emily” and “The Lottery” both use a literary device known as foreshadowing in which both of the authors give clues and hints throughout the story that lead the reader to upcoming happenings in the story and prepare the reader for the ending. In “A Rose for Emily”, the narrator is the observer of Emily Grierson who is the protagonist of the story.

Narration in 1st person point of view keeps the reader wondering what is going to happen next because it controls the perspective which allows for more surprises. The author also uses foreshadowing in which hints and clues are given throughout the story to prepare the reader for expectations in the story. An example used in the story is how Emily Grierson was in denial and refused to admit that her father is dead. The story also says how Emily’s father was really protective of her and didn’t allow Emily Grierson to date any men because no one was good enough for her.

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Another example given was that the person that Emily Grierson has been dating, Homer Barron was a Northerner and Emily Grierson knew that her family would not approve of her dating a northerner. Both of these examples gives the reader the hint that the reason Emily Grierson had killed Homer Barron was because she needed a male in the house with her to protect her which is why she did not give up her father for three days. Also, the fact that she loved Homer Barron but felt guilty that he was a northerner because her family would not approve of her dating a northerner.

The author also concealed the ending when he threw the reader off by telling the reader that while Homer is out of town Emily bought a poison known as Arsenic. This caused the reader to expect that she was going to kill herself because Homer Barron left her even though he was only going out of town for a few days. Then the narrator went on to tell the reader how Emily bought men’s items and a toilet set with Homer Barron’s initial on it to distract the reader away from the poison. This distraction was the author’s method of trying to conceal the ending while preparing the reader for the ending.

The story also hint how there is a smell of decay in and around her house which usually means a dead corpse. At the end of the story Emily Grierson dies and up in the locked up second floor was a skeleton which was Homer Barron’s body. Next to Homer’s Body was a pillow with an indentation of a head and a strain of Emily’s hair. It was obvious that Emily had killed Homer Barron because Arsenic, which Emily purchased earlier, has side effects of edema. In “The Lottery”, Shirley Jackson writes the story in a 3rd person point of view which allows the reader to understand the situation from all sides.

Since the story was in 3rd person point of view not all of the villagers thoughts were not revealed, which the reader eventually learns from the villagers’ argument that this is not something the people of the village would want to win. If the story were in 1st point of view from Mr. Hutchinson’s perspective then the narrator would have to explain how Mr. Hutchinson felt about the lottery, easily giving away the ending that someone was going to get stoned. Third person point of view allows the narrator to give bits of information though the actions and discussions of the villagers and not give away the ending.

An example of this is when the narrator said "Bobby Martin had already stuffed his pockets full of stones". The information given could most likely mean anything or just something meaningless. They could be playing a game with the rocks that he stuffed in his pockets. The story then reveals that the rocks were used to stone someone to death at the end. Some other clues and hints given in the stories was the saying by Old man Warner “Lottery in June, Corn be heavy soon” and the story also mentions a ritual. The saying “Lottery in June, Corn be heavy soon” is saying that population control is needed because Old an Warner also mentioned how there would be trouble if this tradition stopped due to lack of supplies. The term “Ritual” usually could mean death. The story was then easily given away that someone was going to be stoned when Tessie Hutchinson argued against her own husband for winning the lottery. It wouldn’t make sense to argue with your own spouse if they would win the lottery. Again, the story keeps you wondering what is going to happen next when they had to redraw the card and ends with Tessie Hutchinson being stoned to death.

In conclusion, the authors used different points of views and also foreshadowing to conceal the ending while preparing the reader for the ending. “A Rose for Emily” used 1st person point of view effectively and only allowed the reader to be the observer of Emily Grierson instead of being in her point of view which helped conceal the ending of the story. “The Lottery” used 3rd person point of view effectively and concealed the ending by not revealing the villager’s thoughts.

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