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What is the point of view for F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Winter Dreams?"

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bferrando | eNoter

Posted May 20, 2012 at 4:40 PM via web

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What is the point of view for F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Winter Dreams?"

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM (Answer #1)

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While the narration in "Winter Dreams" is a standard third-person omniscient point-of-view, an unusual aspect is the way the narrator takes an active role in the telling, rather than the normal passive role. Instead of simply relating the events as they unfold, the unseen narrator comments and offers opinions, allowing the reader to see both the actual events and one possible opinionated view. It is not as specific as a frame-story technique, or a story told to the narrator by someone else, and seeks to subtly influence the reader's opinion.

This story is not his biography, remember, although things creep into it which have nothing to do with those dreams he had when he was young. We are almost done with them and with him now. There is only one more incident to be related here, and it happens seven years farther on.
(Fitzgerald, "Winter Dreams," sc.edu)

This direct addressing the reader shows the narrator's interest and deeper understanding of the characters and their intentions; unlike, for example, "A Rose for Emily," there is little indication that the narrator plays a directly active role in the story itself, but instead acts as an interpreter. The narrator remembers important details for the reader, allowing the flow of the story to remain unbroken, and eliminating the need to "flip back" and see what came before. 

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