The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Narrative Voice And Aspects Of Narrative

We began the lesson looking at what we thought narrative voice was and had a discussion on that, we then discussed David's Lodge's idea of Narrative voice which was " The choice of the point of view from which the story is told, fundamentally affects the way readers will respond, emotionally and morally, to the fictional character and their actions"

One example of this is Desperate Housewives as one of the character's dies in the first series and then narrates the rest of the other series which an narrative technique known as Omniscient- all knowing.

We then looked at why narrator's are used and what effect they have which was " the narrator is used to organise, select, and present information. The narrator may also:

- Judge
- Directly address's the reader
- Be a participant in the story
-Be a detached observer
- Be "transparent"
- And lastly appear to speak with the voice of the author.

We were then given a sheet about narrative voices and point of views in which we had to read the definitions of the different types of narrator and narrative voices and to match them with the correct term.

Intrusive Narrator:
A narrator who, telling the story in the third person, intervenes in the narrative, with a comment in the first person.

Interior Monologue:
First person, as though the narrator is verbalising their thoughts as they occur.

Third Person Omniscient Narrator:
A narrator who is assumed to know everything connected with the story narrated. Refers to the characters as "he" or "she". Often popularly assumed to be the author.

Multiple Voices:
More than one narrative voice used in a single text. Can be first or third person or a mixture of the two.

First Person Narrative:
A narrator who speaks as "i", often a character who plays a role in the story, although it may not be his or her own story.

In a third person narrative, the character from whose perspective the action is seen.

Inadequate Narrator:
A narrator who doesn't seem to understand as much about what's happening as the reader.

Self-Conscious Narrator:
Reminds the reader that what they are reading is fiction, dispelling any illusion that the characters are real people etc.

Second Person Address:
A narrative voice that directly addresses the reader as "you" Its rare for a whole text to do this, as it's very hard to maintain.

Unreliable Narrator:
A narrator who is perhaps self-deceiving or who cannot be trusted to give a version of events that is to be believed.

Stream Of Consciousness:
A narrative style that imitates the qualities of thoughts and feelings, making the reader feel as if they're inside someones head. The grammar and structure suggest the random and fragmentary nature of thought. In the third person it's an extreme version of free indirect style. In the first person it's an extreme version of interior monologue.

Free Indirect Style:
Third person narration in which a character's thoughts and feelings seem to be directly expressed, freely taking on views and often language of that character. Narratives often slide between conventional third person narration and this style, moving from a more detached voice to one that is more intimately connected to one character or another.

Further to this we we given another sheet in which we had to identify what choices of narrative voice have been used by referring to the other sheet and there were four extracts in which had to guess the correct narrative voice.

First extract: First person / Interior monologue
Second Extract: Third person omniscient narrator
Third extract: Free indirect style
Fourth extract: Intrusive narrator.
( If you weren't in you need to get the sheets of Sir)

Lastly we had to choose a popular nursery rhyme or short story in which everyone knew and write it using one of the narrative voice's.

My example was (not very good to be honest) was a nursery rhyme which was:

Original Version:
There once was a little girl who had a curl right in the middle of her forehead; when she was good she was very, very good, when she was bad she was horrid.

My Version:
Did you ever hear of the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead? Well from what I've heard this girl isn't too pleasant when she's bad, in fact i know too well she's horrid.

We then had to guess what other students narrative voice was. can you guess mine?

-Be Awesome (as always)
- Be ready to read next Wednesday.
- Comment on the blog, with an example of different narrative voices.

Lucy Purdy.


  1. An example of unreliable narration would be:

    Hero (Film)

    where the characters tell's multiple versions of the same story. (Beautifully reflected in the colours used.)

  2. An example of where i`ve seen free indirect style is in Lord of the flys when we studied it in gcse.

  3. An example of multiple voices erm..ONE TREE HILL.

  4. One of thousands of examples of Third Person Omniscient Narrator is in the Harry Poter book series.Where as much lamer example of First Person Narrator is the Twilight book series and the Eragon books.
    Great blog post Lucy


  5. An example of multiple voices is Scrubs

    Hold tight my guy Daniel!!

    oi wheres Carlos?

    Saways xx

  6. Everybody Hates Chris could be interpreted as many such as intrusive narrator and interior monologue.


    hang tite Saways!!!!!!!!!!

  7. The Inbetweeners can bee seen as a First Person Narrative; I think.

    Esmeralda ;)

  8. The book "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult is an example of third person omniscient narrative as throughout the book she narrates the story as if she knows everything and also constantly addresses the characters as "he" and "she" etc.


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  10. First Person Narrative is used in the Noughs and Crosses book series. They tell the reader of their emotions and their thoughts

    Chris W

  11. I think that 300 is an example of free indirect style. Nice blog Lucy.

    Roman A.