‘the Choice of the Point(S) of View from Which the Story Is Told Is Arguably the Most Important Single Decision That the Novelist Has to Make’ (David Lodge). Discuss.

Topics: F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby Pages: 4 (1560 words) Published: February 4, 2013
‘The choice of the point(s) of view from which the story is told is arguably the most important single decision that the novelist has to make’ (David Lodge). Discuss.

This essay will decline David Lodge’s declaration on the basis that there is not a ‘single’ most important decision for a novelist to make because all of the aspects for writing a story are as equally as important as each other and must all co-exist to be the best novel it can be. This essay will assert that the choice of point(s) of view and characterisation are very important decisions for the novelist to make. The choice of perspective is a significant decision for a novelist to make because it can ultimately shape the reader’s views on the events and the characters in a story. For example, Muriel Spark’s uses a series of flash-forwarding to enhance the reader’s experience and affect their attitudes towards ‘the Brodie set’ (Spark 5) when it reveals their futures early whilst they are still young girls within the story and how they became ultimately formed by Miss Brodie’s ‘elusive’ (11) prime in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961). Also, the other necessary decision for the novelist to make is the one of characterisation because characters are what fuel a narrative and using a certain character can be a way for an author to comment upon the problems of the world. For instance, the prominent characters of The Great Gatsby (1925) revolve around the ‘gorgeous’ (Fitzgerald 8) Jay Gatsby, and the ‘flower-like’ (26) Daisy Buchanan, and as the tale progresses F.S. Fitzgerald strips them of their elitism, revealing their true colours and intent.

One of the essential aspects for a novelist to decide upon when writing a story is an effective choice of point of view. The narrator can initially shape the reader’s interpretation, opinion and attitude towards certain characters and events through the way they present their story. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is a third-person narrative which...
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