Point of View

  • Joe Bray
Chapter
Part of the Language, Style and Literature book series (LSL)

Abstract

This chapter sets out a key theme of the book: the flexibility and ambiguity of point of view in Jane Austen’s fiction. Bray argues against those critics who have posited the existence of a single, totalising perspective in her writing, demonstrating instead that even those passages which appear to be monologic on closer inspection often contain a variety of subjective points of view, both individual and collective, through the stylistic technique known as free indirect discourse. This technique is introduced and defined, and the consequences of its prevalence in Austen’s fiction for the concept of the figure of ‘the omniscient narrator’ considered. Through particular attention to Emma, Bray shows how Austen’s style challenges the existence of this figure, and the wider concept of omniscience.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joe Bray
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EnglishUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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