Three Perspectives In The Novel 'They Came Like Swallows'

Decent Essays

Graeme Gigante

English 204

Essay # 2

Three Perspectives of "They Came Like Swallows" by William Maxwell

In the novel "They Came Like Swallows", author William Maxwell tells the same story from three different perspectives, each one being told from a point of view by a different character in the family from the novel. The first perspective was told by the youngest son in the family, Peter (nicknamed "Bunny"), the second perspective told by the older son, Robert, and the third and last perspective told by the father/husband, James Morrison. Each member from the family holds important aspects when it comes to closeness between family members. These aspects are told from a different side from each speaker's outlook, however, these different …show more content…

Every point of view from the novel is solely based on where the story begins and where it ends. Bunny, Robert, and James have a different point of view of Elizabeth. One perspective explains how Elizabeth is seen as a heroic figure.
Another perspective explains how she is the person being protected. The final perspective points out how and why Elizabeth was and will still be remembered as an important part and figure to the family in the novel. It is believed that the story probably would not have the same understanding had it been told from only one perspective by one of the main characters or the author himself. Each perspective explains the development of her character overtime, more likely as what is noted of her as the novel continues throughout.

The first part of the story is told from Bunny's perspective. He is learned to be the center of attention in his family. Bunny is rather an insider who is attached to and heavily relies on protection from his mother (Elizabeth Morison). Bunny was the one known to be the most favored child and put first in line over his older brother Robert. From day in and day out , Robert has constantly made Bunny's life miserable as possible. Meanwhile, the 1918 influenza

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