A New Style of Narration in The French Lieutenant's Woman

1442 Words Sep 30th, 2012 6 Pages
Readers have not always considered the idea that they have the opportunity to choose the path of the story they read. In The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles revolutionizes the traditional art of story telling by breaking away from certain aspects of the novel to introduce a whole other world of fiction. The narrator plays a significant role, by providing insight into Victorian society, acting as a character in the story and creating relationships with the characters, all of which breaks away from the conventional role of the narrator and forces the reader to consider that she is an active participant in the art of storytelling. Through the use of epigraphs and illustrations from the time period, Fowles provides the readers …show more content…
“Fowles always offers his readers an experience that is parallel to and simultaneous with that of his characters” (Tarbox 96). Again, this quotation demonstrates the “experience” or relationship that Fowles offers for his readers. Moreover, by using the technique of injecting personal experiences and relatable stories, the readers are more likely to empathize and become emotionally attached with characters, producing a strong relationship. “It dreams [the novel] of consciousness that will produce an extra-narrative mode of understanding, making not new but more consciousness available to us, more love, more freedom, more desire, more tolerance” (Tarbox 93). Through using common human occurrences, Fowles is giving the readers the same opportunity for choice and self-discovery that he gives his characters, so he is able to take the reader into a whole other world where it is hard to differentiate between something they are imagining to be happening and something that actually did happen.

By putting himself in his own story as a character, the narrator takes a step beyond his traditional role to become a part of the character’s worlds and act, as the characters would act. Being a character, he is forced to accept that he does not know what the other
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