Narrator/narrative perspective

point-of-view technique

a) Types of narrator

Observer (not personally involved; usually greater emotional distance to characters/protagonist and the narrated action )

Omniscient narrator: usually combined with an observer; can give an inside view of the different characters’ views and emotions; has an (almost) unlimited point of view/unlimited knowledge

Narrator-agent: involved in the story/action to some degree; less emotional distance to the fictional world he relates (it’s his story and wants to be seen as a “hero” or at least as a likeable character. The narrator-agent often diminishes the emotional distance between the reader and the fictional world he relates; he manipulates the reader’s focus of sympathy. He usually has a limited point of view/ his knowledge is limited to what he realistically can know.

First-person narrator; third-person narrator: (this does not say very much, because both can represent the observer or narrator-agent; the reader may feel less emotional distance to the first-person narrator)

➢ self-conscious narrator: he/she is aware of telling a story to a reader and is thus aware of being in a communicative situation.

➢ unself-conscious narrator: he/she is NOT aware of telling someone a story; thus the reader is under the illusion of getting an insight into a person’s mind without him/her realizing that.

b) means of narration

➢ Straight-forward narration of a series of events arranged in a time sequence

➢ Narrator’s comments

➢ Dialogue

➢ Interior monologue/stream of consciousness: presentation of a character’s thoughts and feelings without apparent intervention of a third-person narrator