The Ways in Which Narrative Perspectives Vary in The French Lieutenant's Woman and Hawksmoor

3918 Words 16 Pages
The Ways in Which Narrative Perspectives Vary in The French Lieutenant's Woman and Hawksmoor

Although there are many different perspectives taken in the two novels that shape the overall theme of each plot, comparisons can be drawn between them to show that they share a few fundamental similarities in the way that the authors present their narrative. By looking at the this presentation, it is possible to extract that the authors share common ground in the role that they take in the novel, the post-modernist way they seem to perceive their own role as a novelist and their perspectives on the theme of time in a novel. These factors combine to suggest that the novels, which have very different stories,
…show more content…
Until we start to realise his paranoia, we believe him in his suspicions about Yorick Hays' conspiracy and are swayed by his address of him as "the serpent Hays". We also get many of his thoughts in italic, like "(another giddy son of a whore)". The inward perspective that we are given with Dyer also helps us to see aspects of his character like the way he, like Charles in 'The French Lieutenant's Woman', is a rebel in the society with his fascination with science and black magic, for which would both have been shunned because the only truth at the time was Christianity. The purpose of this is to show the past through the eyes of someone who lives in the past, like a diary that follows their reports on events. It also allows us to separate the past with Dyer, from the present with Hawksmoor. In the present, Ackroyd is alive to comment on the modern day detective, Hawksmoor, and to a certain extent the third person narrative leaves the readers able to make their own minds up because there is no bias. It also reminds them that they are living alongside Hawksmoor, which enforces the theme of the detective novel because they have to solve the crimes too. As a result, we get a more detached view of Hawksmoor's character but we feel that we can trust it more because there is supposedly no bias, (although we are still influenced by Ackroyd). Finally, Ackroyd also includes an entirely
Open Document