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Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Reliable Narrator?

What do you think--is Lucy a reliable narrator in this novel?  Why or why not?

[CAK's books , website.]
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎04-13-2008
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Re: Reliable Narrator?

I wasn't sure at first what with her keeping Dr. John's identity from us and all.  But for the most part I believe her.  I sometimes wonder though if she is not leading M. Paul on more than she lets on to the reader.  Why does he attack her so vehemently about being a coquette and passionate, etc. out of the blue?  She seems utterly oblivious to his feelings for her (at least in Volume 2) -- but is that really true?  I mean, overall I feel she is fairly perceptive.
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Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Reliable Narrator?

[ Edited ]
I believe she is a believable narrator, but she omits a lot from what she tells us.  This was rather mystifying when she didn't tell us who Dr. John was, but downright frustrating at the end when she prevaricates and gives us leave to either believe that M. Paul survived the stormy sea passage and came home to her, or that he perished at sea.  I also think it might be easier to understand her character if she had given us some background of her life prior to living with her godmother.  Jane Eyre gave us her own background, so that we understood her position and the dynamics of her situation.  Sometimes I think that perhaps Lucy was from a well-to-do family, and she does sometimes imply that she had a happy childhood, but something drastic must have happened somewhere along the way; probably her family died.
But I think that even though she is truthful, her omissions make her a somewhat unreliable narrator, since she does not want to give us the full picture, and so we have to assume some things, that may or may not be correct.

Message Edited by dulcinea3 on 05-01-2008 05:12 PM
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