Presentation on theme: "Concept Mastery Key Words - Sometimes Present Never Present Examples: Nonexamples: While no narrator is perfect, an unreliable narrator is a narrator that."— Presentation transcript:
Concept Mastery Key Words - Sometimes Present Never Present Examples: Nonexamples: While no narrator is perfect, an unreliable narrator is a narrator that (significantly) lacks credibility and gives flawed information. The unreliable narrator has implications for the author’s purpose and message. Always Present Unreliable Narrator Practice with new example Tie down definition 7 1 2 3 Narrator – one who tells a story 6 The Wife of Bath in The Canterbury Tales misremembers stories & quotes 1 st, 2 nd, or 3 rd person p.o.v. A forthright, accurate, and balanced account gives flawed information has implications for the author’s message & purpose lacks credibility is biased is (innocently) mistaken is manipulative is deranged or mentally ill Is obvious or subtle in his or her distortions Intruder in Poe’s–”Tell Tale Heart” Charlie in Flowers for Algernon omits info., contradicts, him or herself, reveals biases Early historical example: gnostic gospels – rejected by early church 3 rd person narr. of 1984 Slave narratives Grendel Tim Obrien – The Things They Carried Propaganda – polit. campaign commercial Gatsby’s Nick Carroway Othello (no “narrator” in most plays) Elie Wiesel - Night Jeanette Walls – The Glass Castle 1984 is A novel where a reliable narrator is absolutely necessary if we are to trust Orwell’s critique of the abuses of totalitarianism Poe’s story is one where an unreliable narrator is absolutely necessary for the author to fulfill his purpose of bringing the reader into a world of terrifying madness
Concept Mastery Key Words - Sometimes Present Never Present Examples: Nonexamples: An unreliable narrator is a narrator that … Always Present Unreliable Narrator Practice with new example Tie down definition 7 1 2 3 Narrator – one who tells a story 6 Poe –”Tell Tale Heart” 3 rd person narr. of 1984 Grendel (1 st p POV) Tim Obrien – The Things They Carried Propaganda – polit. campaign commercial The Matrix
The Things They Carried by Tim Obrien Tim Obrien – Reliable or Unreliable Narrator – A Borderline Case Tim Obrien speaks directly to the reader and tells the reader that the truth of stories really matters, then he tells a story that he admits isn’t true. Elsewhere he says that a made-up story can be more true than one that happened. Do these inconsistencies make him an unreliable narrator or does his forthrightness about his contradictions make him reliable? “You can tell a true war story by the questions you ask. Somebody tells a story, let's say, and afterward you ask, "Is it true?" and if the answer matters, you've got your answer.” “For example, we've all heard this one. Four guys go down a trail. A grenade sails out. One guy jumps on it and takes the blast and saves his three buddies. Is it true? The answer matters. You'd feel cheated if it never happened. Without the grounding reality, it's just a trite bit of puffery, pure Hollywood, untrue in the way all such stories are untrue. Yet even if it did happen - and maybe it did, anything's possible even then you know it can't be true, because a true war story does not depend upon that kind of truth. Absolute occurrence is irrelevant. A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth. For example: Four guys go down a trail. A grenade sails out. One guy jumps on it and takes the blast, but it's a killer grenade and everybody dies anyway. Before they die, though, one of the dead guys says, "The fuck you do that for?" and the jumper says, "Story of my life, man," and the other guy starts to smile but he's dead. That's a true story that never happened.”
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