What does Gaines establish by using the eight-year old boy, James, as the narrator who tells the story in the present tense and in his own dialect?

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ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ernest J. Gaines's "The Sky Is Grey" uses the voice of eight-year-old James to begin the story. Gaines does this to draw the reader into James's world.  We immediately feel sorrow for this boy's plight.  James is far more concerned with his feelings and problems on a personal nature.  By the end of the story, James has a better understanding of the "world view" and what is expected of him, not as the boy we met at the beginning, but as a man in the future.