The Observing We in Literary Representations of Neglect and Social Alienation: Types of Narrator Involvement in Janice Galloway’s ‘Scenes from the Life No. 26: The Community and the Senior Citizen’ and Jon McGregor’s Even the Dogs

  • Catherine Emmott


This chapter examines the use of different types of we-narration in two literary stories that portray the theme of neglect and alienation in modern society, Janice Galloway’s ‘Scenes from the life no. 26: The community and the senior citizen’ and Jon McGregor’s Even the Dogs. Both texts have an observing we-narrator. Galloway’s short story presents a voyeuristic commentator, apparently watching a staged performance. This we becomes increasingly detached as the narrative progresses, possibly preventing readers from fully empathising. By contrast, McGregor’s we-narrator is highly involved, contributing personal knowledge and memories. The degree of involvement of these we-narrators is quite different, but both texts use their unusual perspectives to provide unsettling views of those who have fallen into a state of neglect and are marginalised by society.


Janice Galloway Jon McGregor Neglect Voyeurism We-narration 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Emmott
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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