Narrative technique

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Who tells the story

1st person narration 3rd person narration

Who is the narrator?    A distant observer A close observer A character in the story .

How is the narrator       Objective – subjective Omniscient – selectively omniscient Reliable – unreliable Detached – involved Godlike Fly on the wall .

Ways of telling the story  The language     Level of formality Register Tone Dramatic .recollective .

Point of view   Who speaks (voice) Who sees (perspective) .

He opened the bonnet and disappeared behind it.Indicators of point of view Viewpoint can be controlled through choosing to describe only what could be seen from a particular position. Example (1) Wilcox told her to get and release the bonnet hatch. After a moment or two she heard him call… (David Lodge. This is called schema-oriented language. Nice Work) .

Linguistic indicators of point of view  Value-laden expressions  Given/new information  deixis  speech and thought presentation .

branch-line carriage. Fanny and Annie) . of course.Value-laden expressions  Expressions which are evaluative and reveal attitudes Example (2) She opened the door of her grimy.H. The porter was nowhere. Lawrence. but there was Harry …There. and began to get down her bags. on the sordid little station under the furnaces… (D.

though the German authorities had no earthly means of knowing this. (John Le Carre. The Little Drummer Girl)  . indefinite reference  Full noun phrases vs.Given vs. pronominal reference Examples (3) It was the Bad Godesberg incident that gave the proof. new information Definite vs.

Mrs Verlock was coming. He waited.Deixis  Place    adverbials (here/there) demonstrative pronouns (this/that) verbs (come/go) Example (4) Mr Verlock heard the creaky plank in the floor and was content. (Joseph Conrad. The Secret Agent .

(Ken Kesey. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) . Time adverbials (now/then) verbs (past/present) Example (5) They’re out there.

walking after each other to the head of the stairs. Social deixis: naming ways of addressing. (James Joyce. peering down over the banister and calling down to Lily to ask her who had come. The Dead) . gossiping and laughing and fussing. Example (6) Miss Kate and miss Julia were there.

Speech and thought presentation Short (1996) identifies the following choices to represent character speech and thought: direct = unmediated by the reporter (claims to represent accurately the actual content of a person’s speech/thought) indirect = mediated (claims only to present the content. using instead the words of the person reporting the speech/thought) Free = a combination of the two above  .

Direct Thought  ‘Oliver must have seen me’. she thought.  .Direct Direct Speech  ‘Are you feeling better?’. asked the child.

 Indirect Thought She thought that Oliver must have seen her.  .Indirect Indirect Speech The child asked about his health.

she thought  .Free Indirect Speech The child said he hoped his mama was better.  Free Indirect Thought Oliver must have seen her.

(Charles Dickens. But they wouldn’t leave me alone.Text 1 Among this good company I should have felt myself. in a false position. if they would only have left me alone. nor because I was not allowed to speak (I didn’t want to speak). Great Expectations) . when living. No. and with those obscure corners of pork of which the pig. and the Pumblechookian elbow in my eye. I should have minded that. with the table in my chest. had had the least reason to be vain. even if I hadn’t robbed the pantry. nor because I was regaled with he scaly tips of the drumsticks of the fowls. Not because I was squeezed in at an cute angle of the table-cloth.

if it is carefully explained) that she would knock a number of these man-drinkers onto the floor if she tried to jump through the window. The window would push in before her. An image flickered briefly in her mind: shiny things. sometimes smashed to bright fragments on the rocks when the men were done with them. No.Text 2 She could also smell guns. It would be easy. giving way as man things sometimes did. She understood (in the way that a lay person may vaguely understand a complicated geometry proof. the voice of the unformed said. but now it didn’t matter. then looked up the window. Man-drinkers. The cougar sniffed the wall. Desperation) . she had no choice. You can’t. Under other circumstances that smell would have sent her running. She would go where the old one sent her. … She could get inside. … Stephen King.

Besides. she was too stoned and too horny to argue. Hollywood Kids) . She believed him. Mister Movie Star. “Can we get this train moving?” “Got no reason to stall.Text 3 “Thank you.” she said.” “How about a condom?” “How about I don’t take a shower with my boots on?” “How about safe sex?” “How about I just took a test and got the all clear?” “How about I see the certificate?” “How about shutting up?” She acquiesced. (Jackie Collins. reaching for his belt and expertly unbuckling. babe.

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