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They-Narratives

  • Jan Alber
Chapter

Abstract

Third-person plural narration is a rather rare phenomenon in the area of fictional narratives. Thus, its forms are underexplored and its functions are, as yet, unidentified. This chapter begins an exploration of third-person plural narratives. In the first instance, they-narratives are related to and contrasted with the standard narrative forms discussed by Stanzel (1984) and Genette (1980) as well as the more recent typologies of you-narratives (Fludernik, 1994a; Richardson 2006) and we-narratives (Alber 2015; Richardson 2006). In a second step, the chapter then looks at and compares the they-passages in D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Things’ (1928), Georges Perec’s Les choses (1965), Ursula Le Guin’s ‘The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas’ (1973), and Maxine Swann’s Flower Children (2007). Ultimately, the chapter will reveal and list a number of reasons why a narrator might decide to talk about a whole group in the third-person plural (rather than single out individual characters).

Keywords

D.H. Lawrence Georges Perec Maxine Swann They-narratives Third-person plural narration Ursula Le Guin 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Alber
    • 1
  1. 1.RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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