15 votes
Accepted

Was Wolf Hall originally written in the first person?

The author says using "he" was a deliberate stylistic choice. In an interview with the New Yorker, she explained that she consistently called him "he" because that fit better with ...
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12 votes
Accepted

If a novel has different narrators for each chapter, is it metafictional?

No, the mere presence of multiple narrators does not make a novel metafictional. Nor do metafictional novels necessarily confine themselves to just a single narrator. While metafiction depends on the ...
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11 votes

Is Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984 an unreliable narrator?

Winston is the only character whose point of view we have access to in the novel, a necessary precursor for the potential of an unreliable narrator. After all, without an external perspective, we can ...
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  • 14.4k
11 votes

The Turn of the Screw: Arguments in favour of the governess being a reliable narrator

It is a good idea, when discussing “unreliable” narrators, to be explicit about what exactly is supposed to be unreliable about the narrative. A narrative can be unreliable at different levels. At one ...
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8 votes

Earliest second-person novel

A good place to start is Monika Fludernik’s annotated bibliography of second-person fiction (up to 1994): The bibliography has four different sections: A. a list of those second-person texts that ...
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  • 39.1k
7 votes

Who coined the term "omniscient narrator"?

Here’s a selection of citations prior to Lubbock (1921): In the epic or the novel, one omniscient narrator tells the story of his characters, and talks about their inward thoughts; the dramatist, on ...
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  • 39.1k
6 votes

What is the earliest book where bad spelling is primarily for humor value?

James Whitcomb Riley was perhaps the most well-known American humorist who wrote primarily in dialect. Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn is probably the best-known American book written in dialect, but it'...
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6 votes
Accepted

What is the narrative type used in "Harry Potter" called?

When a story is told from a single character's point of view, this type of narrative is known as third-person-limited narration (see Terms Used by Narratology and Film Theory by Dino Franco Felluga, ...
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  • 38.1k
5 votes

Earliest second-person novel

The oldest example of second-person narration I could find is The Haunted Mind by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was first published in 1835 and later included in volume 2 of Twice-Told Tales (1842). ...
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  • 38.1k
5 votes
Accepted

What is the effect of a text written in present tense and first-person?

Examining them independently first of all: The first-person narrative Is defined by the use of personal pronouns, 'I' and 'my' it creates the effect of seeing and experiencing the events of a text ...
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  • 2,114
4 votes

Is there a term for the boundaries of expectation as established by a story's narration?

The boundaries of expectation set by a story's narration fall under the general heading of point of view. In itself, point of view is a simple concept: what is the relationship of the narrator to the ...
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4 votes

What is the earliest book where bad spelling is primarily for humor value?

But I am wondering what the earliest book is in English that uses bad spelling for humor value. I realise I'm somewhat stretching the scope of your question, but if you include plays as "books&...
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4 votes
Accepted

Does Joyce use interior monologue in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"?

tl;dr Stream of consciousness, partly; interior monologue, no. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is narrated largely through indirect discourse limited to Stephen Dedalus's point of view. ...
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4 votes

When did the perspective-switching trend begin?

The use of multiple perspectives has been a feature of the English novel from its earliest days. Samuel Richardson's Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740), often considered the first novel in English, ...
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4 votes
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Is Anna Karenina a modernist novel?

[T]he hero of my story, whom I love with all my heart and soul, whom I have attempted to portray in all his beauty and who has always been, is now, and will always be supremely magnificent, is truth. -...
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  • 1,360
4 votes

If a first-person narrator addresses the reader, is it considered speech or thought?

PAIRS is intended to help you direct your attention to specific methods a text may use to reveal what a character is like. Essentially, it tells you not to overlook (1) what a character looks like, (2)...
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  • 38.1k
3 votes

Why did Tennyson write "The Brook" from the brook's first-person perspective?

There are two things I think the choice of first-person adds to the poem: novelty, and a sense of movement. The novelty factor comes from the point of view being, well, novel. Bodies of water can't ...
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  • 7,253
3 votes
Accepted

Is there a name for the narrative technique of starting at the end and then going back to the beginning? (As in Lord Jim)

A narrative that begins at the end and moves to the beginning of the events it describes would exhibit reverse chronology (see also Joe Bunting, Chazda Hill and LiteraryTerms.net). However, what we ...
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  • 38.1k
3 votes
Accepted

What did Wodehouse say about writing in the first-person?

Wodehouse wrote in a letter to William Townend dated 6 March 1932, (...) It's not all jam writing in the first person. The reader can know nothing except what Bertie tells him, and Bertie can know ...
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2 votes

What is the name of the writing style in "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens? Why is that style used?

It depends on whom you ask. Some will tell you that the widest POV is the controlling factor, because narrowing it down is only an exception. In that case, Bleak House is omniscient (or third-person) ...
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  • 1,141
2 votes

Does a memoir need to include a reliable narrator?

A memoir does not need to have a consistent reliable narrator. First off, what is a memoir, and how does it differ from a historical novel and how does it differ from a textbook? Dictionary.com ...
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  • 19.2k
2 votes
Accepted

Books that are narrated using various points of view of the main characters

It's called many things, but the most common terms seem to be multiperspectivity (what Wikipedia uses), alternate point of view, multiple narrative, and switching point of view. Multiperspectivity, ...
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  • 4,506
2 votes

Narration and internal dialogue in Mansfield's The Little Governess

The technique where an author gives us direct access to what a character is thinking is called interior monologue. The passage you quote above tells us what the governess is saying in her own mind: &...
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  • 15.3k
2 votes

Is this free indirect speech in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"?

Chris Baldick's The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (second edition. Oxford University Press, 2001) defines free indirect speech as follows: a manner of presenting the thoughts or ...
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  • 38.1k
1 vote

Dialogue without quotation marks in Colson Whitehead's "The Intuitionist"

I found that the author often wrote what characters said or thought without quotation marks This is called free indirect speech, although in this case it's almost made direct speech by the presence ...
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  • 63.1k
1 vote

Who coined the term "omniscient narrator"?

After some more searching, I found the following comment in Jonathan A. Kruschwitz's Interludes and Irony in the Ancestral Narrative (Wipf & Stock, 2020): Jean Louis Ska traces the use of the ...
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  • 38.1k
1 vote

Is there a name for the narrative technique of starting at the end and then going back to the beginning? (As in Lord Jim)

A story which begins at the end and then skips to the beginning is a nonlinear narrative. Sometimes, the act of jumping back to a previous point in the story is called a flashback. If the story ...
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1 vote

Point of view in Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path"

The point of view in ‘A Worn Path’ can be described as “third-person, limited, objective”. That is, it is told from the point of view of a “third person”, a narrator who not themselves a character in ...
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  • 39.1k
1 vote

Is there a name for this narrative technique or style?

I think you might be looking for the term "free indirect speech" in which the narration directly includes character thoughts and perspectives. Because the narrator is directly reporting the characters'...
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1 vote

What is Faulkner's point of view in the "Address to the Graduating Class?"

The perspective you are talking about is generally applied to narration, not oratory or addresses. That said, this seems like it would be "2nd person".
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