Salman Rushdie

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What is the narrative point of view in the story "In the South" by Salman Rushdie?  

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Salman Rushdie's short story "In the South" is told from a third-person omniscient point of view. The narrator is impersonal but knows the thoughts and feelings of Senior and Junior, the story's main characters. The narrator informs the reader of things that the main characters would probably not disclose, such as their health problems and private grievances. Such knowledge is a hallmark of the third-person omniscient perspective.

Even though the narration occasionally strays to give us insight into other characters, such as Senior's peg-legged wife or the girls on the Vespa, it confines itself mostly to the perspectives of Junior and Senior. This provides these two characters with a large degree of depth. However, the point of view also describes elements of the setting apart from the characters' limited scope, giving the story a more vivid context.

This point of view also includes lessons that the characters themselves fail to grasp. Although the world around them is lively and full of energy, Junior and Senior are constantly concerned with death. The narrator shows them in a faced-paced, lively world in which they move about slowly. From the very opening lines of the story, the liveliness of the world is painted in bold colors. The characters physically live within this world but emotionally exist outside of it. A first-person perspective may not have been able to achieve this juxtaposition. Rushdie's choice, a less personal third-person point of view, is able to do so.

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