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Reliability of Narrator

Stories are often told by a narrator giving his/her point of view, by using omniscient, limited omniscient, or first person. The purpose of the narrator is to give factsand details, being reliable or not. Three stories we have read in class are "The Body," byStephen King, "Defender of the Faith," by Philip Roth, and "Everyday Use," by AliceWalker; which give examples of a reliable narrator. Each narrator was a reliable sourceof information, and told his/her story well. Stephen King’s. “The Body,” was an excellent representation of first person pointof view narration. The main protagonist, Gordie, was not only the narrator but a majorcharacter. Gordie told the story as an adult looking back on his childhood experiences. He may not have remembered exactly what was said at the time, but he knew enoughinformation to relay an honest recollection. The reliability of a story’s narrator dependsupon whether or not the reader can trust the information of the narrator. For example, “Ibecame acutely aware of all the noises inside me and outside me, like some crazyorchestra tuning up to play. The steady thump of my heart, the bloodbeat in my ears likea drum being played with brushes...” (King 358). I felt that these sentences made Gordiemore believable, because he acted more mature than the others. His thoughts ran deeperthan most twelve year olds, but it was believable. King had written this story withstereotypical adolescent characters, but they ended up being less than ordinary. As thenarrator, Gordie gave his own feelings as well as giving the views of the other three. Forexample, “Teddy’s head shook without definition, unsure if this was true. Someone hadredefined his pain, and redefined it in shockingly common terms.” (King 352). Gordie’sreliability is maintained during the entire story because of his innocence as a character. There is no need for him to embellish th...

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