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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 ...
Beastly Gerbil's user avatar
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 ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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10 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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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10 votes
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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 ...
verbose's user avatar
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9 votes

Narration: Who speaks in ''At the Mountains of Madness''?

‘At the Mountains of Madness’ consists of a main narrative into which eight shorter narratives are embedded. The narrator of the main story is a geologist, the leader of the Miskatonic University ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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8 votes
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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, ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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8 votes
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Is it an error to identify the narrator of "Ozymandias" with the author?

tl;dr The narrator of "Ozymandias" is not reducible to the poet. Yes, like a stand-up act, a lyric utterance is performance art. And yes, in "Ozymandias" as in all lyric poetry, ...
verbose's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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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'...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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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). ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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5 votes
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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 ...
Fabjaja's user avatar
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5 votes
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Distinction between author and narrator/speaker

tl;dr The distinction between speaker and author, even in lyric poetry, isn't recent. Aristotle made the distinction around 335 BC, so it's around 2,360 years old, give or take. Deets In the Western ...
verbose's user avatar
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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 ...
verbose's user avatar
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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&...
Chappo Hasn't Forgotten's user avatar
4 votes
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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. ...
verbose's user avatar
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4 votes
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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, ...
verbose's user avatar
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4 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) ...
Ralph Crown's user avatar
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4 votes
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The narrator(s) of the Mahabharata

tl;dr When Alf Hiltebeitel speaks of the outermost frame, he means the narrator who invokes Nara, Nārāyaṇa, and Saraswatī in the very first verse, then introduces Ugraśravas in the second. This ...
verbose's user avatar
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4 votes
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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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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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. -...
Kevin Troy's user avatar
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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)...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes
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Am I right in thinking this quote from Terry Pratchett is an example of Second Person voice?

I am no Grammarian, and if strictly grammar is what you are looking for there are some fairly eminent voices over on EL&U such as John Lawler (his CV) who would undoubtedly be able to give you an ...
Spagirl's user avatar
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4 votes

Persona of the narrator in Housman's "Farewell to Barn and Stack and Tree"

If you look at any printing of this poem, for example, in A Shropshire Lad (1896), p. 13, you’ll see that each stanza starts with an open quotation mark, but only the last stanza ends with a close ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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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 ...
bobble's user avatar
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3 votes

First-person point of view in chapter 61 of Pride and Prejudice

This is an example of direct address to the reader by an omniscient narrator, who offers facts, opinions, arguments, and moral judgements, and expresses themselves as a character, not just a conduit ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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3 votes
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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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes

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'...
Guildenstern's user avatar
3 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: &...
verbose's user avatar
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3 votes

Second-person Damon Runyon stories

If you mean second person narrative, a quick look through my Damon Runyon short story collection "From First to Last" reveals that the vast majority of the stories in that volume are written ...
Chappo Hasn't Forgotten's user avatar

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