Comparing The Narrators In Life Of Pi And The Lottery

1515 words - 7 pages

When authors set out to impact the lives of readers, a diverse utilization of literary aspects is often required. It is easy to come across many differences and similarities between literary aspects when one delves into a plethora of works. In the book Life of Pi author Yann Martel harnesses the use of a varied first person point of view in order to accurately portray the sense of panic and urgency in given situations; adversely, in the short story “The Lottery,” by Shirley Jackson, a detached third person point of view is taken into account in order to drag the reader along on the drawn-out, suspenseful journey that the families involved had to endure. Despite the difference in narrators ...view middle of the document...

The effectiveness of first person point of view is made apparent throughout this hectic and troubling ordeal. Readers become emotionally invested in Pi’s struggle, panicking right along with him as devastation and grief take control. The negativity of these emotions must hurriedly be transformed into positive energy as Pi comes face to face with a large tiger. Out of the kindness of his heart, Pi helps a wild animal into his lifeboat. Due to the events that have just transpired Pi is not thinking clearly, for he soon realizes the immense danger of his situation.
Pi forces himself into close quarters with a wild Bengal tiger with no signs of relief and every emotion and thought that is running through his mind is made obvious to the reader. Throughout various trials and tribulations, Pi finds himself bonding with Richard Parker (the name Pi’s late father had given to the tiger.) Richard Parker’s life was in debt to Pi upon Pi allowing him onto his lifeboat. The powerful tiger more than once repaid this aforementioned debt. Pi often found himself in tense situations, be it up against a wild hyena or a cannibal shipwreck survivor. Despite these multiple life and death situations, Pi would prevail with the help of his unfortunate companion because without him “[Pi] would not be alive today to tell you [his] story.” (Martel 247) These successes continue until both Pi and Richard Parker get rescued. The pain that Pi is in due to the time he has spent stranded in the ocean is forgotten as a feeling of relief overcomes the sickly boy. The narration of this piece shifts once again to present day as Pi looks back on his time at sea with Richard Parker. A shift in narration like this acts as the resolution for Life of Pi. The reader learns that Pi has prevailed to live a happy and healthy life despite the loss of his parents all while making an unlikely friend. The sense of joy that the reader experiences upon the ending of this piece can be credited to the first person point of view that Martel uses so effectively. However, when authors wish to touch the lives of readers in a different way, a change in point of view can be a great way to do so.
In Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery,” a detached third person point of view is taken into account to convey the mystery behind a corrupt society. This piece begins at the square of a quaint little village. Children are frolicking around collecting stones on a warm midsummer day in preparation for the annual lottery. Questions begin to surface as this piece transpires. The reader learns of what is happening, but not why. Jackson’s use of a third person point of view allows for the reader to be shut out of the true meaning behind this town’s lottery. Families continue to gather on the square as slips of paper are being placed in a black wooden box. The events that are soon to take place are that of great importance because all three hundred of the village residents are in attendance at this unclear event. ...

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