Style can be related to the work’s period, its author, and the level and language used in the work (Literary Terms & Literary Theory) The style of “The Father” by Björnstjerne Björnson (translated by R. B. Anderson) is simple and concise. The author gives only the most basic information and details which are necessary to carry the story along. The author does not elaborate setting or imagery; instead he relies on dialogue and short narrative information to develop the story’s plot.
The story is similar to that of a folk tale or a tall story, because it resembles an oral story. It comes across as a tall tale that has been passed down through generations, because few specific details, like place names, are given. It has the “once upon a time” feel to it, and although there are no supernatural elements to the story, the events in the story seem to be legendary – maybe they happened in some place at some time, but the details have been forgotten. The story also seems to have a moral or a lesson to be learned, and many folk tales embody moral truths. Given its simple and concise style, it is possible the author intended the story to be read as a folk tale.
The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory. J. A. Cuddon, ed. New York: Penguin, 1999.