Short Story Essay

948 WordsOct 13, 20124 Pages
Analyzing the short story Types of narrator In a short story or a narrative essay, the narrator does the telling. Narrators can be: Characters active within the story Onlookers who describe events as they see them An unnamed speaker with an “all-knowing” point of view The style of narration the author chooses always has powerful results. Although each style of telling can be used in various ways, as a general rule, a character narrator who is inside the story often forms an intimate connection with the reader. Onlooker narrators can provide points of view that conflict with those of other characters: they demonstrate that the truth about what really happened in a story is complex. An all-knowing narrator may appear to deliver the “last word,’’ the truest perspective. Whatever narrative style is chosen, often the psyche or perspective of the narrator illuminates the story as a whole. Person & Point of View Every story has a particular point of view with various advantages and disadvantages. For instance, a story can be told from the first, second, or third person. Common benefits and limitations of each perspective follow: First Person: “I” Readers often feel as though they get to know an “I” narrator personally. They are allowed inside the narrator’s thoughts. However, a disadvantage to the first person perspective is that the teller’s viewpoint is relatively unchallenged by other perhaps more accurate or objective points of view. Second Person: “You” Second person involves the reader in the story. For example: “You walked slowly along the graveled path, wondering what Samuel was thinking. When he finally began to speak, you searched again for any sign of contrition in his all too mellow voice.” While this provides an interesting role for the reader, it can feel controlling, and may assume too much about the reader. Second person can create an operatic tone and

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