Thursday, October 10, 2013

Narrative Technique

Narrative Technique
The methods involved in telling a story; the procedures used by a writer of stories or accounts. Narrative technique is a general term (like "devices," or "resources of language") that asks you to discuss the procedures used in the telling of a story. Examples of the techniques you might use are point of view, narrative structure,  manipulation of time, dialogue, or interior monologue.

Point of view
Objective Point of View
With the objective point of view, the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the story's action and dialogue. The narrator never discloses anything about what the characters think or feel, remaining a detached observer.
Third Person Point of View
Here the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. We learn about the characters through this outside voice.
First Person Point of View
In the first person point of view, the narrator does participate in the action of the story. When reading stories in the first person, we need to realize that what the narrator is recounting might not be the objective truth. We should question the trustworthiness of the accounting.
Omniscient and Limited Omniscient Points of View
A narrator who knows everything about all the characters is all knowing, or omniscient.
A narrator whose knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor, has a limited omniscient point of view.
Dialogue is another technique that authors use to tell their stories. Dialogue is direct speech between two characters. Authors often signify dialogue with quotation marks and a dialogue tag like "he said" or "she whispered." Through dialogue, authors are able to create scenes in which characters speak to one another and voice their thoughts and feelings.
Manipulation of time
Authors also use shifts in time within novels as a narrative technique. A flashback is when the storyline jumps backward to show something that has happened before the main events of the novel and that has relevance to the present story. Foreshadowing is when the narration hints at things that will happen but have not happened yet. Authors might also use a frame story, a secondary story that is not the main story of the novel but through which the main story is told. A frame story may, as in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," be a character in the future remembering what has happened in the past. A frame story may also be, as in Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights," a character learning of the main story as the reader does.

Another important narrative technique is symbolism. A symbol is a thing that signifies something else. Symbols in novels are often ambiguous. For instance, in "The Great Gatsby," much of the action takes place beneath the eyes of an advertisement. You could argue that these eyes symbolize many things: They might be the eyes of God or the eyes of the reader or the eyes of Nick, the story's narrator. Some readers have even interpreted the eyes as a symbol of consumer culture.

Narrative Style

Narrative style refers to the way in which the author uses language vocabulary and imagery; it refers to the way in which the story is organized and the way in which the events are paced. (See point of view above) and refer to page 192 in A World of Prose.

Literary Devices
·         Allusion- An expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference.
·         Irony—generally used to describe an occurrence or statement that embodies something
coincidental or lucky with an added remarkable twist of fate
o   Verbal—the use of words to express something other than and especially the
opposite of the literal meaning
o   Situational—incongruity between he actual result of a sequence of events and the
normal or expected result
o   Dramatic—when the audience or readers understand something in a play or story
that the actors or characters do not understand
·         Coincidence—the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but
seem to have some connection
·         Symbolism—the art of expressing invisible or untouchable entities with visible or
sensual representations
·         Flashback—interruption of the plot by interjection of events of an earlier occurrence
·         Foreshadowing—representation or identification of what is to come later in the plot
·         Hyperbole—extravagant exaggeration
·         Oxymoron—a combination of words that contradict one another; for example, cruel

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