Shifting Narrative Voice
Throughout the novel, Dickens employs a shifting narrative voice; as James R. Kincaid noted in Dickens and the Rhetoric of Laughter, "It is impossible to define the characteristics or moral position of the narrators in this novel, for they are continually shifting." At times the narrator is detached and wordy, as in the opening paragraph in which he says abstractly that he will not name the town or workhouse where a certain "item of mortality" was born. At the same time, he is mocking the conventions of many novels of his time, which open with...
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