Narrator Influence

This essay Narrator Influence has a total of 1055 words and 5 pages.


Narrator Influence
"The role of the narrator influences the type of relationship we have not
only with him or her but also with the story" (Landy 75). This quote was
taken from our Literary Studies book in which we have read several stories
concerning different styles of narration. Narration is one of the most important
components of a story. The characters, plot, setting, and theme are also
significant, however the narrator sets the mood and also the pace of the story.

Two good examples of narration is the short tale The Zebra Storyteller by

Spencer Holst and The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. These are
stories in which the narrators retain certain styles of narration. An outside
book that we have not read is the fairy tale Cinderella. In these three works,
the narrators have specific functions or duties to carry throughout the story.

In The Zebra Storyteller the narrator is a Siamese cat but the narrator is also
an outsider. During the story the cat tells a story to his friends about how
skillful and 'powerful' he is at killing zebras. Towards the end of the story
the cat is handed his fate; he is kicked and killed by a zebra, who sensed
feared when approached. At the end of the story Holst concludes with the
statement, "That is the function of the storyteller." This statement
pertains to the idea of the function the storyteller has or how they create the
atmosphere and set the grounds in which the story is based on. There are many
functions of the storyteller. They can teach a lesson, control the story,
entertain, and stretch one's own imagination. In this story it is a great
example how the story can take a sudden unexpected turn and shock the reader.

The narrator can take twists and turns and can make expected or even unexpected
outcomes in the story. A good example in the story would be where the narrator
states, "The zebra storyteller wasn't fit to be tied at hearing a cat
speaking his language, because he'd been thinking about that very thing" (Holst

1971). At this point the narrator changes the reader's perspective and sheds
light on an upcoming event in the story. Which turned out to be a big event
where the Siamese cat got killed. Of course this story is fictional but it is an
excellent story to portray how a narrator can expand the reader's imagination.

The Yellow Wallpaper is a story in that one of the different styles of narration
is prevalent. Some types of unique styles of narration writing are story
telling, diary style, or telling a story about a day's experience. The Yellow

Wallpaper is in diary format which means the narrators internal thoughts are
exposed in the story as well as their outside thoughts, meaning how they deal
with the other characters in the story. This story is about a woman who is in a
mental hospital where she is kept in a room that has very old yellow wallpaper
on the walls. In this story the main character or the narrator is secluded in
this room by herself and is limited to basically doing nothing. As the story
continues the narrator is drawn toward the hideous wallpaper and finds herself
in the wallpaper. In her diary writings she reports, "There are things in
that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will. Behind that outside pattern
the dim shapes get clearer everyday" (Gilman 83). In her reports she
creates a mysterious, scary mood about the woman she sees in that paper. When
the narrator reveals 'her diary' it allows reading into their thoughts on how
they take in the actions in the story. She lets them into how she feels about
her husband and also she is not allowed to write because he says it is going to
delay her getting better, which she disagrees with. She says, "Personally,

I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me
good" (Gilman 78). The narrator's function in this story is to set not only
the mood but also the setting. In the beginning she describes her settings very
clearly giving details of her room and the outside gardens. As the story
continues she becomes more abstract due to her deteriorating awareness of
reality. At the end her husband collapses due to the sight of his wife 'creeping
through the wallpaper.' She makes her reader's imagination wonder what really
happens at the end. After he faints she says, "Now why should that man have
fainted? But he did, and right across my

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Topics Related to Narrator Influence

Style, Fiction, Narratology, Point of view, Narration, The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Storytelling, Cinderella, Mood, Unreliable narrator

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