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Compare and contrast the narrators of Our Society at Cranford and "A Scandal in Bohemia."

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rts-18 | eNoter

Posted March 25, 2010 at 9:20 AM via web

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Compare and contrast the narrators of Our Society at Cranford and "A Scandal in Bohemia."

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 31, 2010 at 11:27 AM (Answer #1)

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The narrator in the Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir A. Conan Doyle is an involved, participating first person narrator who reports the goings on of Sherlock Holmes. The narrator in Our Society at Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell is also a first person narrator but there is a distinct difference in the narrator's level of participation in the story. This narrator is a visitor having previously been a resident of Cranford and is therefore more of an observer than a participant: "Some of us laughed heartily. I did not dare, . . ."

Another difference is that Holmes, the central figure of "Scandal in Bohemia," is almost always in direct communication with Watson, the narrator, whereas in Cranford direct communication with the narrator is sometimes a mere incidental to the story, which focuses on the ladies of Cranford. This points out another similarity. In both stories, the central figures are characters other than the narrator even though the narration is in first person, a point of view that usually indicates the narrator as the central character.

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