Point of View in "Luck" Essay

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"Luck" is a short story by the brilliant American novelist Mark Twain. In this story, readers learn about the life of Scoresby, a military hero, through the depiction of a clergyman who was once an instructor in a military academy. This was actually a story within another story. As a matter of fact, an unnamed narrator retells the story he once heard from the clergyman. This story is told in the first person point of view. In the first person point of view, the narrator participates in the action of the story, but it is biased and limited view. Therefore, the reader should question the trustworthiness of the account. From the account of the narrator, the reader learns that as a young man in the military academy, Scoresby was not bright.…show more content…
He demonstrates the stupidity of Scoresby in paragraph 4: "I was touched to the quick with pity, for the rest of the class answered up brightly and handsomely, while he--why, dear me, he didn't know anything, so to speak." According to the clergyman, Scoresby was so foolish that the clergyman was inclined to cheat out of compassion for this "evidently good, and sweet, and lovable, and guileless" young man (paragraph 4), teaching Scoresby the questions that would be used on exams. Surprisingly, the foolish Scoresby passed his examinations with flying colors. Moreover, the clergyman attempts to demonstrate the foolishness of Scoresby on the battlefield: "he never did anything but blunders" (paragraph 10). Then he suggests to the reader that Scoresby won the war through the blunder of mistaking his right hand for his left. In fact, the point of view of the clergyman is designed to convince the reader of Scoresby's stupidity. While the clergyman uses a detailed story to support his point of view, the narrator naively sides with the clergyman. Actually, he knows the clergyman well: "The reverend was a man of strict veracity and his judgement of men was good" (paragraph 3); consequently, he immediately believes whatever the clergyman has to say: "Therefore I knew, beyond doubt or question, that the world was mistaken about his hero." The narrator doesn't question the point of view of the clergyman at
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