How do the narrators and narration of Hotel World and "The Three Strangers" compare?

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Both Hotel World by Ali Smith and "The Three Strangers" by Thomas Hardy are mystery stories of sorts, or at least tales that deal with the complexities of life and death and the intricate morals and perspectives involved in them. Let's look at how these stories are presented to help you get started on your assignment.

Hotel World shifts its narration several times. In fact, five different characters take a turn at telling their versions of events. They are all connected by the hotel, and they all speak in the first person. The first narrator is actually the ghost of a girl who died at the hotel. The other women are connected in some way. The narrative style shifts with each perspective, and tone and diction vary as each woman expresses herself. But between the five narrators, the truth finally comes out and the story reaches its resolution.

"The Three Strangers," on the other hand, is narrated in the third person. The narrator stands outside the story and speaks more or less objectively about the characters within the story. He is not an actor himself, but he knows the characters well and describes them in detail. The narrative style is consistent throughout because of this single narrator, and he carefully describes the three strangers who arrive at the party. We have a sense that the narrator certainly knows the truth about the events, but he holds out on us, building up our suspense so that we can enjoy the revelation at the end.

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