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Different Types of Narration

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Different Types of Narration There are a variety of ways to narrate a story, but essentially they can be broken down into two main groups: first person narrative, and third person narrative. In the use of the first person narrator, the story is told through the eyes of the 'I' narrator. The first person narrator can only relate incidents that he or she has witnessed, and only he or she can interpreted the situation, therefore in this respect the first person narrative is limited. We must remember that a first person narrator in a novel is not the novelist but a character who sees things only in the light of his or her own point of view and coloured by his or her personality, therefore events are biased to the narrator's opinion. This of course can be used to effect in books where the first person narrator is unreliable and therefore we are forced to see a false picture of events. For example in 'The Beach' by Alex Garland, events are told by Richard, a backpacker in Bangkok. In the extract I have chosen, Richard recounts an encounter with 'Mister Duck', who, at the beginning of he book, commits suicide. In the extract below, it is only the second time that Richard 'meets' 'Mister Duck', the first being when Richard was feverish. Therefore we can easily presume that Richard was hallucinating when he first 'met' 'Mister Duck' but in this extract, it is hard to tell, from the way Richard narrates it, that 'Mister Duck' is imaginary: Mister Duck sat in his room on the Khao San Road. ...read more.


In a first person narrative, the use of interior monologue can be used where the reader is allowed inside the mind of the narrator and so we can hear their inner thought. For example in Ernest Hemingway's 'A farewell to Arms', when Henry hears that his wife is gravely ill we receive an interior monologue: The nurse went into the room and shut the door. I sat outside in the hall. Everything was gone inside of me. I did not think. I could not think. I knew she was going to die and I prayed that she would not. Don't let her die. Oh, God, please don't let her die. I'll do anything for you if you won't let her die Please, please, please dear God, don't let her die. Dear God, don't let her die. Pleas, please, please don't let her die, God, please make her not die. I'll do anything you say if you don't let her die. You took the baby but don't let her die - that was all right but don't let her die. Please, please, dear God, don't let her die. Here we feel that the character is deeply involved in his surroundings and what is happening, the events he is recounting are extremely emotional and moving, but this is not always the case. In 'Nausea' by Jean-Paul Satre, it is the story of an observer of life in a small caf�, and here the narrator is totally withdrawn from his surrounding, as though watching it on television. ...read more.


Unable to resolve itself, like a cheap hologram or a bucket of snakes, the lips drew back while the jaw relaxed, the stare softened while the frown hardened. Fear, Sean thought distantly. Rare that one got to see what it actually looked like. Other people's, sure, but not your own. Intrigued, he leaned close to the mirror, ignoring the footsteps that were already working their way up the stairs. 'Aaaah, we're going to be late,' said Don Pepe, breaking the tense silence of the last five minutes. Jojo nodded and nervously pushed his thumbs into the padding around the steering wheel. 'Yes, sir, we are. I'm sorry.' Jojo paused a moment before saying 'Yes, sir' again. He was leaving time for Teroy to add his own apology. After all, he'd been the one who had suggested Hotel Patay in the first place. But Teroy, sitting in the passenger seat, wasn't saying a word. No sense diverting Don Pepe's irritation on to him, when he could keep his head down and his mouth shut and let Jojo take all the abuse. Fair enough. Jojo would have been doing the same if their roles had been reversed. The narrator is very important in a story as the narrator is responsible for the way a story is conveyed to its reader, or its point of view. The variety of ways that the author can manipulate the narrator and his or her point of view in order to gain maximum control over the work as a whole is often the essence of whether the reader gained the desired effect set by the author. For: Miss Hill By: Chee 1 1 ...read more.

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