Mar 9, 2023

The Narrator in Stories

I have been revisiting Rhoad’s and Michie’s insightful, Mark as Story. Here is one of the helpful insights from the book. 

"When the narrator is omniscient and invisible, readers tend to be unaware of the narrator’s biases, values, and conceptual view of the world. The reader tends to trust the narrator as a disinterested observer of the events of the story. But the omniscient narrator is not a disinterested observer. Rather, the narrator functions as would the director of a movie., as someone who is responsible for the presentation of the whole story. Viewers observe the scenes and characters from the director’s perspective, although they never see the director. Similarly, the narrator of a story in literature is responsible for not just the asides but for the presentation of the whole story. The narrator narrates the story with certain loaded words, in a certain order, and with various rhetorical techniques. So the narrator is always there at the reader’s elbow shaping responses to the story—even, and perhaps especially, when the reader is least aware of it."

David Rhoads and Donald Michie, Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1982), 39.

No comments: