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What effect does a third-person narrator have on our perception of "Desiree's Baby"?

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eva-tone

Posted February 17, 2008 at 12:06 AM via web

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What effect does a third-person narrator have on our perception of "Desiree's Baby"?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 17, 2008 at 3:24 AM (Answer #1)

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A third-person narrator is like an eyewitness to the events of the story, telling the reader what he/she wants us to know. We may only be allowed to know what one character is thinking and feeling, and that is third-person limited. Third-person omniscient is where we get to see what most or all of the characters are thinking and feeling. A third-person narrator is also usually more reliable than a first-person narrator because he/she is not involved in the story itself.

By using a third-person narrator, we don't get to see what all of the characters are thinking or feeling. If we did, we might be able to know what Armand is thinking and feeling. If we could see inside his head, we would know what a scoundrel he is for getting rid of Desiree and their baby. We would also know why Desiree chooses to die with her baby instead of going home to the family that loves her. Because Desiree doesn't tell the story, we don't know what she's thinking. We have to infer certain things about why the characters do what they do.

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