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What is the point of view in "How I Met My Husband" by Alice Munro?

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rere2007 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 1, 2010 at 10:20 AM via web

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What is the point of view in "How I Met My Husband" by Alice Munro?

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted February 1, 2010 at 1:52 PM (Answer #1)

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Alice Munro's "How I Met My Husband" uses a first-person, narrator as central character, perspective. The development in the plot of this story reflects the young narrator’s growing awareness of how love and infatuation operate. Munro’s story shows how even a sensible and observant narrator can misjudge people and events, especially when she is involved in the action. Munro is masterful in portraying Edie’s opinions of her neighbors and employers. Edie is a richly realized narrator—engaging, complex, and human. At fifteen she is, ironically, too smart to appreciate how innocent she still is. She does not yet understand the sexual feelings she experiences. Previously in control of most social situations, she stumbles through this comic romance mostly in embarrassed confusion. Finally, the story cunningly demonstrates the power of the title as a literary device. By calling her story “How I Met My Husband,” she invites the reader to expect that this weirdly mismatched and overtly doomed infatuation between Edie and Chris Watters might actually work out.

 

Edie is smart and sensible for her age, but she has a highly critical kind of intelligence and is apt to find fault with most people. She generally keeps her mouth shut in situations, but as a narrator, she speaks candidly to the reader. An amusing illustration of Edie’s narrative “objectivity” is her treatment of the gossipy Loretta Bird. Edie views Loretta Bird with delightful disdain and constantly comments on the hypocrisy or pretension behind everything Loretta Bird says. Her candor might be less agreeable if she was not equally candid in confessing her own failings. She readily admits how many dumb things her young self did or said simply because she could not think of anything better. Her narration may be subjective, but it is not overtly self-serving.

 

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