Montana 1948

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The novel Montana 1948, by Larry Watson tells the story of the struggles of a family torn between loyalty and justice. Ideas about racism and identity are explored in the novel through the use of perspective and the point of view. The point of view is the mental positioning from which a story is observed or narrated and in Montana, Watson has chosen to write in first person through the eyes of a 52 year old man telling the events which happened 40 years before. The complexity of the point of view adds depth to the story and encourages the reader to think about how different point of views can change the perception of a story.

The point of view has complicated the way in which we interpret different characters. An example of this is the way David influences my views on Wesley and Frank. He used distinct phrases to position my view on Wesley such as when he says, “My father didn’t fit my idea of what he should be in his occupation”. Disappointment can be felt when reading the phrase, “didn’t fit my idea” and this positions me to feel pity for Wesley. This pity which I felt forced me to like his character more than Franks. We are also persuaded to like Marie more than Frank. Watson does this by introducing Marie before Frank and making David view on her very memorable. “And I love her,” was the most unforgettable quote David says about Marie. Watson has used David’s love for Marie to propagandise the reader to believe everything she says. After I was positioned to love Marie, Frank is introduced into the story in a very distressing situation. “If you’re not feeling better we’ll give Dr. Hayden a call” “NO! I don’t need a doctor”. The way in which Frank has been bought into the story has forced me to dislike the character. I had already deliberately been given a positive view on Marie and this has made me conclude that Frank is not a normal doctor rather than Marie being psychotic. The reason why I think the previous is likely because we are only given David’s...
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