Understanding Narrative Voice in Prose Literature | Nina Modak | Skillshare

Understanding Narrative Voice in Prose Literature

Nina Modak

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9 Lessons (1h 15m) View My Notes
    • 1. 0 introduction

    • 2. 1 what is narrative voice

    • 3. 2 different narrative voices

    • 4. 3 Characterisation of narrator

    • 5. 4 eg1 The Giver

    • 6. 5 eg2 A Christmas Carol

    • 7. 6 eg3 Lolita

    • 8. 7 eg4 The Rotters' Club

    • 9. 8 conclusion & bye


About This Class

One aspect of style in prose writing is the narrative voice, or narrative perspective or point of view as it is sometimes called. However, what does it mean and how can you identify it in a text?

In literature, who is telling the story affects how a story can be received by the reader.  Novels, short stories and the like are crafted by writers to produce an affect, and part of that crafting is in HOW a story is told; WHO is telling the story.

In this course we will learn what is the narrative voice, what are the different types of narrative voice, their characterisations, and how to identify them in literature.

Who is this course for?

  • This course is aimed at students studying A-level and International Baccalaureate English Literature. 
  • This course will also be useful to GCSE students wanting to get an 8 or a 9.
  • Or anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of literature to gain a fuller understanding of what they are reading.

Course Content:

  • What is narrative voice
  • Characterisation of narrator and narrative voice
  • Multiple examples to practice your knowledge
  • Going through the analysis together and understanding what evidence will tell you what narrative voice the text is written in.


1. 0 introduction: Hello and welcome. My name is Dina and I run mode jack tutoring dot co dot UK. I'm a private tutor specializing in English history, religious studies. In this course, we are going to be looking at the narrative voice, which you also might know as narrative perspective or point of view. So we're gonna be looking at what is the narrator? What is a narrative voice or perspective? What is third person unlimited, that person limited. What about first-person narration? We're gonna be looking at the characteristics of a narrator and then most importantly, looking at examples so that we can identify what's the effect of the narrative voice on a passage and how we, as a reader interact with the text. I'll be talking about what you need to think about, what each Dan lies. When you're going to be looking at novels and unseen prose in your literature studies. So join me on this course and you will find out all about the narrative voice. You'll be able to know some of the technical terminology so that you can then start describing it and analyzing it in your classwork. Let's get straight on with the course. 2. 1 what is narrative voice: What is narrative perspective? You might have come across this word and it might have been a narrative perspective, narrative voice, or point-of-view. So when we're looking at literature, analyzing how a writer writes, what they're saying, what effect that has on the reader, and what meaning they're trying to put across. One of the things we have to analyze is narrative voice. So a narrative voice perspective or point of view? Well, what is it? It is who is telling the story? So you might be familiar with first person or third person point of view. So this is exactly what we're gonna be looking at, the different types of narrative voice that can be used by writers. But before we go into those details, we're gonna be looking at a couple of examples and looking at what do you think the point of having a narrative voice is and what difference it can make to a story. So I'm gonna read you three examples, three shore extracts to the opening of a story, a novel. And I want you to think, what is the effect of the narrative voice? Does it change which interests you the most is in the subject matter is the way it's written. Habit thinks. So let's look at our first example. It would almost December and Jonas was beginning to be frightened. No wrong word. Jonas thought frightened meant that deep sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen. Frightened with the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflow in the community twice. He had seen it both times, squinting toward the sky. He had seen that sleep sleek, jet, almost a blur at its high-speed go past. And a second later heard the blast of sound that followed. Then one more time, a moment later from the opposite direction, the same plane. Okay, let's look at our second example. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul. Lolita. The tip of the tongue, taking a trip of three steps down the palette, tap at three on the teeth. Low. Li She was low, plain low in the morning, standing for feet ten in one sock. She was blurring slacks. She was dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. The my arms, she was always know liter. And let's look at our third. So our third on a clear blue black starry night in the city of Berlin in the year 2003. To young people sat down to dinner there names with Sophie and Patrick. These two people had never met before today. So if he was visiting Berlin with her mother and Patrick was visiting with his father, Sophie's mother and Patrick's father had once known each other very slightly along time ago. For short, while Patrick's father had been infatuated with Sophia's mother when they were still at school. But it was 29 years since they hadn't bought, exchanged any words. So those are three introductions to different novel, very different novels. Think about which one piqued your interest the most. What was it about the way the writer who's presenting the story? What voice did you identify with the narrator? One to listen to more. What was there about? The narrator's voice? Gauged You, gave you. What did it make you think of? Did it make you want to trust the narrator? Did it won't you make you want to find out more for what reason? And then think about it. Why is that important? What effect does that have on the novel itself, on us reader? So these three different examples, they're very, very different. And let's look at how they're different. So the first was the giver by an author called Louis Lowry. Now the audience for this book is aimed at younger teenagers, but it's one, it's an incredibly good book. I read it when I was in school. And It's a dystopian style of book where there is no color there or is everybody has their place in society and its decided for you. The second was Lolita by Vladimir neighbor cough. Now actually, this is a book on my reading list. And I decided, because I haven't read it before, it would be interesting to analyze from a new perspective. And this is a much more adult books. Some of you may have read it or seen the movie. And this is a much more intense topic. Almost. It's kind of about forbidden love, but the forbidden love between an adult and a child, or infatuation perhaps. And now, the third was the hottest club by Jonathan CO. And this is adult young adult fiction. It a level reading list for the syllabus. I'm reading it with one of my students. And again, this one's quite interesting because we have some different narrative perspectives in it and we're going to be looking at that in some of the next videos. But here we have three different, very, very different styles of writing. And we can look at the differences between the narrative voice in them. And you may already be able to identify some of it. So if you want, you, I'm going to put the excerpts up on the screen and note down, what do you like about each one? Can you notice whether it fertile third-person, what? It's about the tone or the content of the narrative voice. Do you like the narrator? As the first impression? I used? Suspicious, being intrigued. So all of these things we're gonna be looking more in depth about when we go into the different types of narrative voice in the technical terminologies that you can use it in your writing. 3. 2 different narrative voices: So now we're going to look at the different types of narrative voice or narrative perspectives. So they are third person limited, third-person unlimited. You have first-person and then there's also a stream of consciousness may have come across the word first-person, third-person point of view and omniscient narrators. We're going to look a little bit more in depth about what the characteristics of those different types of narrations and how they apply and then look at some examples. So let's talk about third person limited, also known as omniscient limited. So the characteristics of a third person limited narrator, omniscient limited, is a narrator who is outside the world of the narrative. So if you imagine, we have our story here and in the middle, we have all our different characters. So the narrator is someone on the outside. They're here, they're watching from the outside, looking in. Now with a limited omniscient narrator, They know everything that's going on, but usually they focus on it through one character and this is usually the protagonist. So you'll find out about everything that's going on in the story, but through the third person view of a character. So this narrator will have a particular understanding. There'll be, I'm to tell you about the thoughts, motivations, fears, hopes of one character needs, usually the protagonist, the main character, one of the main characters. It also characterized by writing in the third person. So these are the pronouns, he, she, it, they. Now with third person unlimited, We have an aerator that also speaks in the third, with third person pronouns. He, she, it, they, they are also on the outside of the narrative world, the world of the characters. But they know everything and they can tell you everything at will. So a little bit different. So third person limited. The narrator is on the outside, speaks in the third person, reporting the events from the outside looking in. But usually you get the focus from the narrator of one character and you learn about all the other characters and events through that protagonist, through that one character, whether as third-person unlimited, can tell you anything about anyone. At anytime. They know everything about all characters, their motivations, their hopes, their dreams, their secret thoughts. You may have come across a third-person on limited narrator in any of the books you've read, read a Christmas Carol. At GCSE level, you might think, yeah, that's a third-person unlimited narrator, an omniscient narrator. Ok. Next, this is probably very familiar with you, a first person narrator. So first-person is when you say I, me. If you have a first-person narrator, You can also, you are also usually a character in the story, their character in the story, and then telling you the story from their point of view. Now, what's interesting is that a first person narrator doesn't always have to be a main character. They can be a minor character looking in. What's interesting with some novels is that sometimes an author or a writer uses multiple first-person narrators throughout the novel and maybe it will change each set, each chapter. If I remember correctly, the mallory brac Blackman books of noughts and crosses. She had multiple first-person narrators. One of the things with having a first-person narrator is that sometimes a reader can feel what's called a heightened sense of realism. So the story feels really real to you because you are in the character's shoes. They are telling you what is happening to them, how they feel, and what's going on. And we can feel that connection and put ourselves in their shoes. And it all, it makes it perhaps more credible. So that'll be something for you to argue in your essays when you're analyzing prose, whether that be unseen or seen arose fewer literature exams. Now, the last point I want to talk about is a stream of consciousness. Stream of consciousness is also known as an internal monologue. So in internal monologue is when you are being told about the character's thoughts and feelings. And this idea stream of consciousness. Consciousness became very popular in the early 19 hundreds, where some writers would have a whole lengthy paragraph or page or a couple pages of a character's internal thoughts running through everything that they're thinking about, about the events, the plot of the story, that interactions with other characters and you as a reader, we as Reid is get this, I deal with a sense of I know what this character is going through that giving me an incitement builds this idea of trust. 4. 3 Characterisation of narrator: So like with characters and characterization, and narrator can have a character, they can have an personality. We could have a narrator who is self-conscious, meaning they're aware of that they all the narrator and they let the reader know that they are the narrator. Now the consequences of this is that, well, we start to build a relationship with the narrator, Even though they are a character outside of the narration. Or we could have a first-person narrative. And the third, the character giving us the narration of the story is telling us well, they know that they're writing this story. They know they're writing to someone. And this builds this trust, like with the third-person narration and a self-conscious narrator, it builds the trust with the audience and makes the audience feel that the narrator's story is credible, believable, trustworthy in some way. And actually got to question to ask oneself. Is the narrator reliable? Reliable? Why or why not? Sooner rate is can be unreliable. They can be fallible, flawed, fallible flawed. And this might be for a variety of reasons. It might be because the character themselves, if the numerator is a character, maybe they're young, maybe they're mentally unstable. Maybe they're a thief, a liar, and maybe they tell you as much. Perhaps a character is too self-confident. And you'll get a sense of this as you're reading. Maybe things won't add up from the point of view and the events happening. And this is up to you when you're reading to build an opinion, to think, well, okay, the rhinorrhea saying this, but do I actually believe them? Why, why not? For example, in The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway is our narrator. He's reporting after the time, but he was one of the narrators, easily one of the characters in a story. And we focuses on Jay Gatsby. But as he likes to tell us, he's he's known as person. He considers himself someone who speaks the truth. Yet as we go through, we think Well to the actually maybe some of the events he's talking about, uh, we sure that he's giving us a truthful account. Or maybe it's colored by his point of view, by his understanding of the world. Do we agree? Do we not agree? And why? What clues do we have that tell us that the generator is reliable or unreliable and fallible? Then we could have an intrusive or an unintrusive narrator. So intrusive. So think about what you know about the word. So an intrusive narrator is some, is a narrator who will tell you their thoughts, their opinions. They are kinda like creating themselves a character in the story. And actually Charles Dickens is a really good example of an intrusive narrator. Now intrusive often has negative connotations. But when we think about in terms of, well, what it means that someone who is very in your face, it barging in, well, Charles Dickins is narration is very much like that. He liked to give you his opinion. And you could argue that his books were unusual commentaries. He's critiquing something about society. He hadn't opinion. And here is another thing to think about, although we won't go into depth in this course, is about, well, the narrator and the author, and the relationship between the narrator and the author. So we could say that the, although the narrator is some all-knowing, omniscient, third-person narrator, unlimited as well. In Charles Dickens his books, it's an intrusive narrator. They like, he likes to give an opinion. The narrator like the thing that he is an aerator and he is telling you the story and heal comment on the characters. And then we've got an unintrusive narrator. And now unintrusive, not actually really word. Unobtrusive is the word. But when I was looking at well, which word is the correct one I was actually referring to Christina Mark Schaefer is book actually of the principles of literature and she uses the word unintrusive. So the negative, the opposite of intrusive. I'll put the reference here. So if you're interested in reading this book, I highly recommend is fantastic. It's really easy to read and it goes through literature, it goes through poetry, prose, poetry, and drama. It's a really good reference guide. So an unintrusive narrator is someone who is, or an rater whose objective impersonal. They do not insert themselves into the story somehow. They tell you the story what is happening and don't give any of their own opinions. Now, we could ask, is that even possible? Is it possible to have an unintrusive narrator, to have an arranger who doesn't not add personal comment. Because as Christina Maya's Shaffer present in her book, she, uh, questions, Well, authors use words because they give specific connotations. And here, something to bear in mind when you're looking about numerator or even an characters and why it was chosen, what characterization it gives is the same with Narrator. These connotations, meaning they have other suggestions. So denotation is what it actually is, is what it means. Connotations of the surrounding suggestions and ideas that are linked with it. So words have connotations. So can an author write a narrator as impersonal, as objective if they are choosing words for a specific effect. So that's a question to bear in mind. So to recap, we have different characteristics for a narrator. Just like you can have characterization. And some of the ones I've talked about today are self-conscious. Whether a narrator can be unreliable or fallible. So flawed. Whether a narrator can be intrusive or unintrusive. And weather. And weather. Can we even trust the numerator? And that is something to investigate. So when you're going through your unseen prose or looking at a novel to analyze, you can look up to, I trust this curator. Do I believe what they're saying, why or why not? What characterizes them? What tone of voice are they giving me? Writing a story in? Is it sarcastic? Is it happy? Is it sad? Is no opinion, no tone at all? Because those tones will give you a characterization of the narrator and you can use it in your analysis and to think, well, what effect does this have on the reader? Now what we're gonna do is we're going to look at some examples and look much more in-depth. So we'll go back to some of the examples I gave you at the beginning, I made at the beginning of the novel. I may use some of the later parts of the novel and we'll look at how can we identify first, what is the narrative voice, the technical term? Can we find examples to help us describe why and prove that it's that narrative voice. And then we'll be looking at the effect. What is the effect? And can we identify the characterization of the narrator? So that's what we'll be doing next. Make sure you go over to the next videos so that we can look at examples together. 5. 4 eg1 The Giver: So we are going to be looking at the giver again and we are going to read two pages. So I'll put this up on the screen so you can have a look and read with me. And I'll read it as well. Now, don't worry as well. If you've never read this book before. Totally. Okay. We are going to be analyzing things that you will need to analyze in your auntie impose exam. So you have seen in a whole extract of the book anyway. And you will be able to understand narrative voice even without reading the whole book. Ok, so let's have a look. The assignments continued and Jonas watched and listened relieve. Now by the wonderful assignment his best friend had beacon given. But he was more and more apprehensive as his own approached. Now the new 12s in the row ahead had all received their badges. They were fingering them as they sat and Jonas knew that each one was thinking about the training that lay ahead. For some one studios male had been selected as Doctor, a female as engineer, an enlarged the for Law and Justice. It would be years of hard work and study. Others like laborers and birth mothers would have a much shorter training period. 18, Fiona on his left was called. Journalist, knew she must be nervous, but fume, Fiona was a calm female. She had been sitting quietly, serenely throughout the ceremony. Even the applause, though enthusiastic, seemed serene when Fiona was given the important assignment of caretaker of the old. It was perfect with such a sensitive, gentle girl. And her smile was satisfied and pleased when she took her seat beside him again. Joan is prepared himself to walk to the stage when they Applause ended, and the chief elder picked up the next folder and look down to the group to call forward the next new 12. He was calm now that his turn had come. He took a deep breath and smoothed his hair with his hand. 20 he heard her voice say clearly, Pierre, she skipped me. Jonas thought stunned. Hadi heard wrong. No. There was a sudden hush in the crowd and he knew that the entire community realized that the chief elder had moved from 18 to 20, leaving a gap on his right Pierre with a start would look rose from his season, moved to the stage. A mistake. She made a mistake. But Jonas knew even as he had the thought that she hadn't. The chief elder made no mistakes. Not at the ceremony of 12. He felt dizzy and couldn't focus his attention. He didn't hear what assignment Pierre received and was only dimly aware of the applause as the boy returned wearing his new badge. Then 2122. The numbers continued in a water. Jonas sat dazed as they moved into the thirties and then the forties nearing the end. Each time, at each announcement, his heart jumped for a moment. And then, and he thought while thought perhaps now she would call his name. Could he have forgotten his own number? No. He'd always been 19. He was sitting in a seat Marks 19, but she had skipped him. He saw the others in his group glance at him embarrassed and then avert their eyes quickly. He saw a worried look on the face of his group leader. He hunched shoulders and tried to make himself smaller in the seat. He wanted to disappear, to fade away, not to exist. He didn't dare to turn and find his parents in the crowd. He couldn't bear to see their face is dark and with shame. Jonas bowed his head and searched through his mind, what had he done wrong? So what I want you to do, I'm gonna put the extract on the screen so you can see it. And I want you to have a think. What narrative perspective do you think this narrator is writing from? On? This brighter is writing from a third person limited, third person unlimited. Well, first-person, what do you notice about the narrator? Who do they focus on? What car, which character do we find out about? What kind of characterization does the narrator Have? They self-conscious of a reliable, unreliable? Are they intrusive, unintrusive. What do you think? Which narrative perspective is at? So this narrator is written in third person limited. We know it's dead person because we have the use of the parent third person pronouns. He, she it and we know it's limited because we have a focus on Jonas. Jonas is the protagonist of the story. He's the main character that the story is built around. Two else do we notice? Well, we noticed that the narrator reports the thoughts and feelings of Jonas, and this is quite clear. Obviously, this point in the story is quite important for Jonas. And it didn't go as he expected. As we know, when. He's always study, he sent stunned. The narrator tells us, she skipped me, join us, thought stunned. And any reports about the rest of the community of even embarrassed, diverting their eyes from him and how he feels. He doesn't understand why has the chief elder skipped him? And there were a narrator reports this in tells us. We can even think about the characterization and think, Well, in this passage, it's quite unobtrusive. The narrator is not giving us their opinion. Writer hasn't created a character for themselves. Or the writer haven't created a character for the narrator. And again, the question about, well, is it really unobtrusive when arriving to pick words deliberately for their connotations. But I think here with the focus on Jonas is thoughts and feelings about this moment in his life at this moment, which is important, the ceremony of 12. We can see that the narrator is just telling us. And we are focusing on donors and we're identifying with him, we're connecting with him. The use of short sentences quite often shows the stress and anxiety of Jonas. And the narrator is putting this across through this punctuation, through the sentence length. Very stop-start, stop-start. But you can imagine this is how Jonas is feeling and then reduce areas. Were also viewing other characters from Jonas is point of view. This is another example of why it's third person limited. And in a way this, this narrator does feel more objective because we, as the readers are being told the story from the outside, we are on the outside with the narrator looking in. But then we have a direct line to Jonas is thoughts. We can't do anything about the story, but we can watch it unfold. And we could argue that that gives us quite a privileged position. It's like a fly on the wall position. We can see everything that's going on for him. But we can't do anything about it. We can just feel for the character. And perhaps that was the point. If this passage has been written in first-person, you'd be quite different. We would get directly the thoughts of Jonas from his point of view. And this character is an old, he's a teenager. So then we have the idea that he's going to view it from a teenage perspective rather than an adult. Or we can assume that the narrator is an adult because the writer, It's not adopt. So that is a quick look at third person limited narration. So what do you think about that? Have you or any other thoughts? And that's great because if you're going to analyze this in an exam or in class, you will need to give you a point of view. You'll need to give evidence and show why you think your idea. So let's go over to our next video and we're going to look at another example from another novel. 6. 5 eg2 A Christmas Carol: Okay, next we are going to be looking at a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickins. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna select two different passages from his book to show you some examples of narration. And you see if you can identify which one it is. Okay. Stave one, Molly's ghost. Molly was dead to begin with. There was no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergymen, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mauna. Scrooge signed it and screwed his name was good upon change for anything he chose to put his hand too old. Molly was as dead as a door now, mind, I don't mean to say that I know of my own knowledge what there is particularly dead about dough now, I might have been inclined myself to regard a coffin nail as the debt is piece of iron monger in the trade. Bots, the wisdom of our ancestors isn't similarly and my, um, hallowed hand shall not disturb it. Or the countries done full. You will therefore permit me to repeat emphatically that Molly was as dead as a door now, Scrooge knew he was dead. Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he will partners for, I don't know how many years scrooge was the sole executor. His soul administrator, his soul assign, whose sole residual legacy, his soul friend and soul Mona and even screwed was not so dreadfully caught up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral and solid mind it with an undoubted bargain. The mention of Molly's funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Molly was dead. This must be distinctly understood or nothing Wonderful can come of the story. I'm going to relate it. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night and in an easterly wind upon his own ramparts than there would be in any other middle aged gentleman, rationally turning out for, off the dock in a breezy spot, say St. Paul's churchyard for instance, literally to astonish his son's weak mind. So that is the first page of a Christmas Carol, and a page later, the story starts. Once upon a time and rule the good days in the year on Christmas Eve, old Scrooge that busy in his counting house. It was cold, bleak, biting whether foggy with all and he could hear the people in the court outside go weeding up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark, wordy. It had not been liked all day. And Candle with flaring the windows of the neighboring offices like ruddy smears upon the palpable Brown air. The fog came pouring in at every chink in key Ho and was so dense without that. Although the Court was of this narrowest, how's it opposite were mere phantoms to see the dingy klan come dropping down, obscuring everything. One might have thought that nature lived hard by and was brewing on large-scale. The Doors crude is counting house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk who in a dismal little cell beyond a short sort of tank with copying letters. Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerks fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal, but he couldn't replenish it for screwed, kept the coal box in his own room. And so surely as the clerk came in with a shovel, the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comfort and trying to hot, warm himself at the candle in which effort, not being a man of strong imagination, he failed. So what do you make of this passage? This is from the very beginning of a Christmas Carol. Which narration perspective do you think it is? What characterization does this narrator have? Um, what effect do you think it has if it was different? Do you think it would make the story as effective or more effective or less effective? What do you think? Take a moment. I'm going to put this passage on the screen. And how the thing jot it down on a piece of paper and see what you can make. You may have noticed that this is a third pass. An unlimited narration isn't omniscient narrator who makes himself known. He becomes like a character in the novel or novella because it's short book. He is very the narrator and I assume it's a here because as we mentioned before, to what extent is Charles Dickins than aerator, or is the narrator someone else that dial Dickinson's thought up? So that way for you to think about. And what purpose. Now, in my opinion, I think Charles Dickins put his voice across very clearly in these and he is writing from a social point of view. He does want to raise awareness of the plight of the poor people. And he found that the most effective way to do that through stories. And at this time, novel was published in the early 18 hundreds. So there wasn't any television, there wasn't radio. So this was a way of spreading a message in a way that people would remember. And obviously people have, because we watched the movie a Christmas every year, it's on TV. You know, everybody knows the story of a Christmas Carol. Now also we can say that the narrator is self-conscious because the narrator knows that he is self-conscious. He's the narrator. He tells us that the story is going to begin. He gives us background information. He gives us his opinion about it. He makes jokes. In the first page about debt is donor. But perhaps a coffee nail is deader than a donor. But we know it's also third-person narration because in that once upon a time of all the good days in the year on Christmas, you need old crude sat busy in his county house. If it's still written in third persons or he, she, it, they, but then the narrator refers to himself as I. Now that's interesting, and that's why we have it that, well, maybe the narrator makes himself a character, but he's still on the outside of the narrative story. It is still, the iterator is still on the outside looking in, like in the beginning where he gives us his opinion. Pay also carries on throughout the novel on Abella. Because at the end when Scrooge, if you haven't read a Christmas Carol, highly recommended. But you probably know the story at the end when Scrooge has redeemed himself, needs discovered how he's going to be better, do better, look after people. The narrator is excited on Scrooge is behalf. So that makes us think, Well, do we trust the narrator? Is the narrator trustworthy? Is a fallible. Well, because it's third-person narration, we assume that the narrator knows everything and he certainly seems like you lose everything. We get flash forward, we get flashback, and we focus on Scrooge, of course, because this Scrooge is the protagonist. But we build a relationship with the narrator because he makes jokes with us, the reader, definitely not objective. This is definitely an intrusive narrator because he's not character and he's not, he doesn't seem objective. He'd rooting for Scrooge as we find out at the end of the novel. Okay, let's go on to example three. 7. 6 eg3 Lolita: Okay, now we are going to be looking at Lolita by Vladimir Nabucco off again. And we're going to look at the beginning. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin myself. Lolita. The tip of the tongue, taking a trip of three steps down the pallet to tap at three on the teeth. Low. Li Ta Shi was low, plain low in the morning, standing for feet ten in one sock. She was Lola and slacks. She was dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line, but in my arm she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed, she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved one summer a certain initial girl child in a prince dM by the c, o, when about as many years before the Alito was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the serifs, the misinformed, simple, noble winged serifs individually. Invite, Look at this tangle of dorms. I was born in 1910 in Paris. My father was a gentle, easygoing person, a salad of racial genes and Swiss citizen of mixed French and Austrian descent with a dash of the Danube in his veins. I'm going to pass around in a minute some lovely glossy blue picture postcards. He owned luxurious hotel on the Riviera. His father and two grandfathers had sewn wine jewels and silk respectively. At 30, he married an English girl, daughter of Jerome done the owl punished, and granddaughter of two doors at Parsons, experts in obscure subjects, paleopathology and eolian harps, respectively. My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident, picnic lighting when I was three. And the same for a pocket of warmth in the darkest passed. Nothing of her subsists within the hollows and dels of memory over which, if you can stand my style, I am writing under observation, the son of my infancy had set, surely, you all know those redolent remnants of day suspended with images about some hedge in bloom or suddenly entered in Trump, traversed by the Rambler at the bottom of the hill in the summer dusk, a very warm golden niches. My mother's elder sister civil, whom a cousin of my father's, had married in the neglected, served in my immediate family as a kind of unpaid governance and housekeeper. Somebody told me later that she had been in love with my father and that he had light heartedly taken advantage of it one rainy day and forgotten it by the time the weather cleared. I was extremely fond of her despite the rigidity, the fatal rigidity of some of her rules. Perhaps you want, perhaps she wanted to make of me in the fullness of time, a better widower than my father. Ansible had pink rimmed as your eyes in a waxen complexion. She wrote poetry. She was poetically superstitious. See, she said she knew she would die soon, OK, my 16th birthday. And did her husband, a great traveler in perfumes, spent most of his time in America, where eventually you founded a firm and acquired a bit of real estate. I grew a happy, healthy child in a bright world, illustrated books, clean sand, orange trees, friendly dogs see vistas and smiling faces around me in the splendid hotel Miranda. It revolved as a kind of private universe, a whitewashed cosmos within the blue greater one that blazed outside. From the apron pots grabber to the flannel potentate. Everybody liked me. Everybody patted me. Elderly American ladies leaning on their canes listed toward me like towers of Peter. Ruined Russian princesses who could not pay. My father bought me expensive bonbons. He won't share. Pretty Papa took me out boating and biking, taught me to swim and dive and water, ski. Read me Don Quixote and Les Miserables. And I adored and respected him and felt gland for him whenever I overheard the Serbians discusses various lady friends, beautiful and kind beings who made much of me include and shed precious tears over my cheerful motherless snus. I attended an English day school a few miles from home and there I played rackets and 5s and got excellent marks and was on perfect terms which schoolmates and teachers alike. The only indefinite sexual events that I can remember as having occurred before my 30th birthday. That is before I saw my little ANA bell. We're a solemn discourse and purely theoretical talk about pubertal surprises in the Rose Garden of the school with an American kid, the son of a then celebrated motion picture actress whom he seldom saw in a three-dimensional world. And some interesting reactions on the part of my organism to certain photographs, Pearl and Umbra with infinitely soft parties in pinch on sumptuous liberty, human that I had to fill out from under a fountain of marble bound graphics in the hotel library. Later in his delightful Gemini manner, my father gave me all the information he thought I needed about sex. This was just before sending me in the autumn of 1923 to at least say in Leon, where we were to spend three winters. But alas, in the summer of that year, he was touring Italy with Madame to her and her daughter. And I have nobody to complain to, nobody to consult. So here the content of this book is very, very different to the other two. But so far, so what can you tell about the narrator and the narrative perspective in this? So first of all, we notice that It's in the first-person and it's written in the past and addresses ASI tells us that he is writing under observation. And he's got quite a self-conscious way about him. He knows he's writing. And we know that he perhaps was unreliable because he tells us, you can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. So if he's a murderer, or we don't know why or happen yet, because it's only the beginning of the novel. But would we trust a murderer? Dry, written in the first person? So we do, we are seeing into his life. He's telling us his story. Perhaps that will make us feel some sort of affinity to him, even though he's a merger. But then it might also completely horrify us depending on what he tells us in the novel. Now the tone is quite low. It's always a little bit sarcastic. It's it's a little bit over the top almost. It's very proper. It's very we get a sense of the type of person he is. Probably someone that you'd be a bit wary of or someone that you'd probably be quite drawn to in a way that he speaks. But again, he's told us he's a murder. And this thing about a certain girl child. And the way he tells us where light of my life, fire of my loins. That's quite a strong statement. It makes us go. Who is this person? Would I want to be around him? Would I want to leave my child around him? Would ions, a teenager wants to be around him. And as another Narrator He is. And first-person narration. In the world of narrative. He's in the world of the characters. It's his story. He is telling his story. He is a main actor. I think, I think we can gather even from the first few pages, he has a main actor, his story. And we're finding out from his perspective what is happening. And we assume because he's a murderer, he's got floors. But also he tells us because he's writing under observation, it makes us think, Well, is he going to tell us the truth? He tells address the jury? Is he speaking to the jury? Is he asked his court case or is he right addressing the jury? In his memoir? We don't know who the audiences specifically at this moment, maybe later in the novel will find out. In the other examples we've had. We've had the narrator addressing the audience in a Christmas Carol. And then in the giver was third person, limited objective as far as objective can be. So we assume that the reader, when looking in where he ones being addressed, but ness, Not sure, not sure who is the intended audience. And that will be found out later. Some writers leave it until the very last to tell us who they're addressing. And that is a stylistic feature. And you think, well, what's the purpose about what effect does that have to do to keep you want to read, keep reading his style of language. We'll give you an insight into his personality also. And that will tell you, do you want to trust him? Do you want to read more? And I think a nice example. The author is not an aerator. So have you got any other thoughts? What do you think about this passage? If it was written in third person, do you think it would be as effective? More effective, less effective? What do you think? Have a little note down. What you think. What would you do differently than Vladimir Nabucco. 8. 7 eg4 The Rotters' Club: So for our final example, I've got the rotis club. So we read a little bit of this at the very beginning of the course, and I read you the first paragraph from the beginning of the book. Now, the reason I've chosen this is because it's a mix of narrative styles and we haven't looked an example that has a mix of narrative styles. So the very beginning of the book, on a clear blue black starry sky in the night in the city of Berlin in the year 2003. To young people sat down to dinner. Their names were Sophie and Patrick. These two people had never met before today. So if he was visiting Berlin with her mother and Patrick was visiting his father, Sophie's mother and Patrick's father had once known each other very slightly along time ago. For a short while, Patrick's father had been had even been infatuated with Sophia's mother when they were still but when they were still at school. But it was 29 years since they had last exchanged any words. Where do you think they've gone? Sophie asked, clubbing, probably checking out the techno places. You serious? Course not my dad's never been to a club in his life. The last album he bought was by Barkley James harvest, who exactly Sophie and Patrick watched as the vast brightly lit glass and concrete extravagance of the new Reichstag came into view. The restaurant they had chosen at the top of the ferns and above Alexanderplatz revolved rather more quickly than either of them had been expecting. Apparently this Beane had been doubled since reunification. How is your mother now? Patrick asked as she recovered. Oh, that was nothing. We went back to the hotel and she lay down for a while. After that she was fine another couple of hours and we went shopping. That's when I got this skirt. It looks great on you. Anyway, I'm glad that it happened because otherwise your dad wouldn't have recognized her? I suppose not. So we wouldn't be sitting here would we must be fate or something. It was an odd situation that he had been thrown into. There had seemed to be spontaneous intimacy between their parents. Even though it was so long since they had known each other, they had flung themselves into their reunion with a sort of joyous relief. As if this law of this, as if this chance encounter in a Berlin tea room could somehow erase the intervening decades healing the pain of their passing that had left Sophie and Patrick floundering and a different, more awkward kind of intimacy. They had nothing in common they realised except their parents histories. The next part of this initial section is dialogue between Sophie and Patrick. But what I want to draw your attention to is the rest of this conversation, Sophie and Patrick at talking about their parents and trying to put together their parents history. And then Sophie starts telling Patrick a story. So I'm going to start again a little later in the beginning of this book. And this is page three. And she says, you know, I can tell you this story, but you might get frustrated. It doesn't end, it just stops. I don't know how it ends. Perhaps I know the ending. Will you tell me if you do? Of course. They smiled each each other then quickly him for the first time as the crane unfilled skyline, the ever-changing work in progress, that was the Berlin cityscape on felt behind her. Patrick looked at Sophie's face. Her grace will draw her long black eyelashes and felt the stirrings of something, a thankful this that he had met her, a flicker of curiosity about what his future might suddenly hold. So if we put sparkling mineral water into a glass from a navy blue bottle and said, come with me then Patrick. Let's go backwards, backwards in time all the way back to the beginning, back to a country that neither of us would recognize. Probably Britain, 1973. When really that different, do you think completely different? Just think of it. Well, without mobiles or videos or Playstations or even faxes. Well, they had never heard of Princess Diana or Tony Blair, never thought for a moment of going to war in Kosovo, Afghanistan. There were only three television channels in those days, Patrick three. And the unions were so powerful that if you wanted to, they could close one of them down for whole night. Sometimes people even had to do with our electricity. Imagine. And then we go on to the next section of the book called The chick and the hairy guy, which is in winter. And in 1973. Imagine November 15th, 1973, a Thursday evening drizzle whispering against the window panes and the family gathered in the living room, all except Carlin, who is our own business and has told his wife and children not to wait up. Weak light from a pair of routine standard lamps, the coal effect phi hisses. Sheila Trotter is reading The Daily Mail To haven't, to hold for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer in sickness and in health. These are the promises which do in fact sustain most married couples through the bad patches. Loess is reading sounds. Guy, 18, cat lovers seeks London, check into Sabbath only freaks please. Paul, precocious leaders reading water shipped down. Simple African villages who have never left them remote homes may not be particularly surprised by their first sight of an airplane outside their comprehension. As we Benjamin, I suppose he's doing his homework at the dining table. The frown of concentration, the slightly protruding tongue, family trade, of course, I've seen my mother look the same way, crouched over her laptop. History probably or maybe physics, something which doesn't come easily at any rate. He looks across at the clock on the mantelpiece. He organized type, he has set himself a deadline, is ten minutes to go, ten more minutes in which to write up the experiment. I'm doing my best, Patrick. Clearly I am, but it's not an easy one to tell the story of my family. Uncle Benjamin story, if you like. I'm not even sure this is the right place to start, but perhaps one place is as good as any other. And this is the one I've chosen. Mid-november, the dark promise of an English winter, almost 30 years ago, November 15th, 1973. Long periods of silence were common. They were family who had never learned the art of talking to one another. All of them inscrutable even to themselves. All except lawyers. Of course, her needs with simple, defined and in the end she was punished for it. That's how I see things anyway. I didn't think she wanted much at this stage of her life. I think she only wanted companionship and the occasional babble of voices around. She would have had a craving for chatter coming from that family, but she would not resort to lose herself in a giggling surplus of friends. She knew what she was looking for, I'm sure of that. Already knew even then even at the age of 16 and she knew where to look for it to ever since her brother had started buying sounds every Thursday on the way home from school, it had become her furtive weekly ritual to feign interest in the backpage adverts for posters and close cotton drill shirt in black, navy flavored cranberry, great team with loons with her when her real focus event attention was the Personal column, she was looking for a man. So we have two passages from this book from the very beginning. The very first few pages are an introduction to the story. Now can you recognize what narrative perspective is from the first section? And then look at the second section. Can you identify what the narrative perspective of the second section is? So I'll give you a few minutes, have a look at the first section and then I'll switch it to the second section. The reason I wanted to give you these extracts from the beginning of this book is because we are introduced to a narrative perspective very quickly into the cloud. To narrative perspectives. So the first extractor gave me from the very beginning is third person limited, or at least we think it's limited. We're not sure yet because we're not given a specific point of view from the, from the narrator. We're not told where focusing on one character specifically at this point in the novel. And actually this section is introduction is only three and a bit pages long anyway. And the narrator treats so 50m Patrick, fairly equally. So we're not sure. But what's interesting is that this is the introduction. We have a lot of speech and then we have Sophie who starts telling the story. Now, she's speaking in the first person, but she's speaking about people who are older than her. It's her family, so she's actually narrating in the third person. Was you still using the pronouns? He she it but sometimes we have moments where she's addressing Patrick directly and then she switches back into I. So kind of similar to a Christmas Carol, except now we have a character from within the world of the narrative. Except she's not in this particular story she's telling. So it's almost like there's a weld of the characters within another world of the characters. Almost like we have to narrative worlds. We have berlin and then we have Birmingham, 19 seventies. Interesting. So what questions can we ask about the narrator? Well, what about the characterization? Well, if we're looking at third person limited, the very introduction, and actually at the very end of the book there is a short close as well written in the same style, although there is a lot of dialogue. So there's not really even a huge amount of texts written by the rated by interrater, written by the writer. This is probably deliberate on Jonathan Coase Parr. He wants it to be the characters telling the story. And you've got to think, well, what does that do for you as the reader? The very introduction actually one of my students said, well, I wasn't really sure if it was part of the book. And it's rightly so there is no chapter number at the very beginning. It just goes straight into the story. And there's a lot of dialogue. But it seems fairly impersonal, fairly objective. So we're not told how to think either way, you as a reader, can make up your own mind and perhaps it Lin's contacts to the story. So we know we're speaking with the niece of Benjamin, Benjamin Trotter, who's one of the main characters of the book. We know his nieces telling this story and she's sitting opposite Patrick. And they have two sides of the story. So when we're thinking about the narrative perspective, when Sophie's telling the story, we have some bias there. So if He is the niece of Benjamin and she's telling his story. But maybe she didn't have the whole story. Although what's interesting is that while she seems to have very detailed account of the story, I mean, she's really setting the scene when she's looking at when she's telling Patrick Thursday evening drizzle whispering against the window panes. Now here is much more conversational. But as the book goes on, you think, well, how does she know this much information? Because there is some very personal information from different sides of the story. Because each chapter talks about a different event and it's got lots of different characters. So you think, well, how do you know the whole story? Who wrote it? Who told you? How can I trust you? It seems unlikely that she the nice, would know the whole story in that much detail about the weather, about how he bill a feeling at the time. So it makes you question, is she a reliable narrator? Because it reads like she's a third person on limited narrator. So we can keep in mind, while it's Sophie, a character, it's not quite, it's not quite like an omniscient narrator from outside who knows everything and ominous in unlimited narrator. Although it seems like it. So when you're reading through a book, you notice that you've got a notice, these sorts of things. Where else did you notice about the extracts? Did you find Sophie reliable narrator? Yes or no? What would you need no more off to decide whether he thought her a reliable narrator? What do you think the purpose of having a section at the very beginning in third person? To premise the story. Why do you think Jonathan coded that? What function does it have? What effect does it have? How do you think the rest of the story who go with this type of narration? Think about, well, what characteristics do you think the narrator should have and what purpose it has towards the story and what effect it has on the reader. 9. 8 conclusion & bye: So we've now come to the end of this course all about narrative perspective. So let's just recap what we've learnt. So we've learned about the different types of narrative perspective. We've learned about third person limited. We've learned about third-person unlimited. We've learned about first-person. Now I mentioned stream of consciousness before, although we haven't looked at it specifically in this course, you will have seen moments of stream of consciousness through our first-person and also in the giver. I'll go into more depth when looking at other texts in other courses, but this is just a short course on narrative perspective. We've also looked at the characteristics of a narrator, Just like characterization. So, is a narrator self-conscious? Are they reliable or unreliable, or the intrusive or unobtrusive? So these are the things that we can bear in mind when analyzing the narrative perspective or the narrative voice point of view in a novel or an untamed extract. So to think about when you're going into your work or at school, or even when you're just reading a novel for fun. Think about, well, if this were different, how would that affect my reading of the novel? Would I enjoy it? Would have, would I have a connection with the story as much if it weren't in first-person or if it weren't in third. How do you feel? Was the narrator, do you notice that they're there or not? So that's it for today. Thank you for joining me on this course. If you'd like any more information about me and tutoring, please go to www dot mode AP tutoring, dot co, dot uk. I have lots of articles on the website all about essay writing, about poetry, and I'll be putting more up about analyzing prose. I also have other causes that you might be interested in, such as essay writing, analyzing poetry, and many more. So that's it from me. Thanks for joining me and I'll see you in the next course. Bye bye for now.