The Ballroom of Romance
The author of “The Ballroom of Romance,” William Trevor uses the main character, Bridie’s, third person narration to exploit a first-person point of view by using free indirect, which adds the effect of irony. This short story uses short lines to express to the reader the thoughts that Bridie has about romance in her life.
The character Bridie is the narrator of her own story; since the story opens with her and ends with her using free indirect there are many examples through out the story where free indirect is used. This helps use to understand Bridie’s position in life. One of the aspects of Bridie’s life that has begun to have a huge impact on her is the idea of romance. She is thirty-six years old and lives on the farm with her father who only has one leg. She has been going to Mr. Dwyer’s ballroom since she left the Presentation Nuns; at the ballroom she has fallen in love, and has been kissed by a handful of men. The use of free indirect plays an important role on how Bridie expresses her feelings toward romantic happenings in her life; both past, and present. One time that the author uses free indirect toward the narration of the story is on page 507, the sentence, “If you couldn’t have love, the next best thing was surely a decent man.” In this short line of the story we are hearing the thoughts of Bridie as she is reminiscing on the past, and planning for the future. She knows it is her time to settle down, and she has come to accept that her final days will be spent on the farm, “she walked away from Browser Egan knowing that not ever again would she dance in the Ballroom of Romance” (page 518).
At this point in the story the reader is kept informed on what is going on by hearing the thoughts of Bridie; a perfect example of free indirect, because if we didn’t have her thoughts we would not know why she decides that this night is her last night attending the Ballroom of Romance. In the beginning of the story when Bridie...
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