Narrative Technique in Short Fiction

1938 Words May 12th, 2012 8 Pages
In short fiction, as in creative writing generally, the point of view or narrative technique has been seen as particularly important in how readers might engage with a story. Why might an author use a particular narrative technique? Select three stories from the Reader that demonstrate a particular narrative technique, or that demonstrate several different narrative techniques, and discuss and compare the effect of this in these stories.

Narrative technique and point of view play an important part in how a reader can engage with a short story. Depending upon how the technique is used, the reader can either feel included or alienated1, even in the most inclusive form of narrative, that of the first person singular perspective. I will be
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This is perhaps the effect Welsh was attempting to achieve, in writing a story that would usually alienate many people, he has instead drawn readers into a world that would normally just pass them by, thanks to the challenges it poses in language, tone and content. Welsh’s story is proof that even the most seemingly off-putting of characters can become an important literary device, who at first glance can seem to disengage the reader from the story, but upon further investigation (as this person has discovered), is used in a very powerful way to engage the reader in a way that is not immediately visible or thought possible. Moving on, from Scotland to Ireland, and we come to look at Anne Enright’s short story Until the Girl Died.6 This story does not use the same literary device of accented writing that A Fault on the Line does, yet much like Welsh, Enright is usually famed for her writing on Irish life, especially that of relationships between men and women.7 Enright’s stories are narrated with a sort of black humour, and humour has always been a good way to engage a reader, even the kind of humour that is a woman discussing her husband’s marital transgressions (‘lapses’, as the
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