First Person Narrative

1635 Words7 Pages
In works ranging from fiction to nonfiction, plays to novels, and even pastoral to poetic, different literary techniques are implemented in different types of literature for the enrichment of each particular work. Of the numerous forms and styles utilized, a necessary style to any piece of literature is narration. Contingent on the particular form of the work, narration can either detract from or add to the overall piece. As we examine Kokoro, by Natsume Soseki, the novel’s use of first-person narrative will reveal the advantages and disadvantages that give the novel its distinct depth and form – the advantages being the understanding of, empathy towards, and relation to the character and the disadvantages being subjectivity and possible distortion of truth. We’ll also see that the primary narrator, the student, shapes the overall plot by emphasizing individualization. In the end, we’ll see that first-person narration will ultimately only better a novel’s form and authenticity. By using an omniscient voice to oversee a work’s storyline, the work is blatantly limited to the finite knowledge of the narrator. Distancing from this approach and in keeping with the consistency of the entire novel’s narration, part three of Kokoro uses the first-person voice to disclose Sensei’s testament. From this any reader is able to directly understand the very emotions that surged through Sensei’s body at certain isolated times, thus being able to conceptualize what catalyzed him to act a specific way or to regard certain aspects the way he did. For example, Sensei elucidated, “I felt very strongly the sinfulness of man. It was this feeling that sent me to K’s grave every month, that made me take care of my mother-in-law in her illness and behave gently towards my wife” (Soseki 242). The use of a third-person narrative in this situation would have limited any reader
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