Point of View and Narration in the Color Purple and Jane Eyre

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  • Topic: First-person narrative, The Color Purple, Epistolary novel
  • Pages : 3 (985 words )
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  • Published : November 16, 2006
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Finding a Voice: Point of View and Narration in The Color Purple and Jane Eyre
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambitioned inspired, and success achieved." Notable words expressed by Helen Keller. She mentions the character of a person must suffer through hardships in order for the soul to build up, like a muscle, and thus achieve a goal through inspiration. Whether it comes from within, or from someone else, inspiration can be found in the novels, The Color Purple, and Jane Eyre. How the reader discovers this inspiration through the characters' eyes is an amazing journey of self discovery. This self discovery takes shape from both novels through the characterization point of view and narration, however different and similar they maybe, that make each narrative unique in its own way.

First off, in The Color Purple, we are introduced to the main character Celie by letters she has written to God. The author chooses to write the novel in the epistolary format. Celie is essentially confessing what is happening to her through letter writing because it has become her only outlet by pouring out her feelings and thoughts, however stunted they maybe, after having been threatened by her Pa, "You'd better not never tell nobody but God" (Walker 1). In Jane Eyre, the first person point of view is established as Jane describes the weather, her surroundings, and her relatives. Instantly, when we come to realize the first person point of view, it is the reader who finds themselves engaged by Jane, as if she were having an intimate conversation with us "A new chapter in a novel is something like a new scene in a play; and when I draw up the curtain this time, reader, you must fancy you see a room in the George Inn…" (Brontë 91). This is how Charlotte Brontë grabs the reader into Miss Eyre's Victorian world.

Conversely, with the epistolary approach, Alice Walker let's the reader...
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