The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities

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Leni Marlina


 

The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2012 Official Conference Proceedings

Osaka, Japan

The Readers Positioning and the Representation Of A Child As The Main Character In Children’S Literature: The Case Of P. Pearce’S “Tom’s Midnight Garden” Leni Marlina 0227 State University of Padang, Indonesia The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2012 Official Conference Proceedings 2012

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The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2012 Official Conference Proceedings

Osaka, Japan

A. Reading Positioning Based on Point of View and Focalisation The choice of point of view (POV) and focalisation is one of the most powerful ways to involve readers in narratives (Bradford 2011b, p. 3). This can be seen from the analysis of POV and focalisation in Pearce’s Tom’s Midnight Garden (TMG) chapter 21 entitled Time and Time Again. The analysis of this chapter will also show: where shifts between focalising agents; how these construct meaning; who speaks and sees; who is observed through these narrative strategies; and how reading positioning is achieved. TMG is generally narrated from the third-person POV. In the third-person narrative mode, each and every character is referred to by the narrator as "he", "she", "it", or "they", but never as "I" or "we" (first-person), or "you" (second-person). Here the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets the readers know exactly how the characters feel. Since the narrator is not a character at the same time and remains outside the story, it is also called heterodiegetic narrator (Nieragden 2002). The beginning of the story in chapter 21 is begun with monologue. It is focalised through the perspective of an external narrator - someone who knows how Tom gets sleep and dreams, who knows what Tom’s dreaming is, who knows when Tom awakes from his dream. This external narrator observes what happened to Tom while he was sleeping and dreaming. “For the rest of Tuesday night Tom lay in bed, at first thinking, and then, at last, dreaming-but of the same things, … He dreamed that it was his last night here. He went downstairs … Then Tom woke; and at once all the strange dream-things sank back again to the bottom of his mind ....” The statement above indicates the omniscient POV because the readers can find a narrator who knows everything about the young protagonist character, Tom, and his dreams. This word of omniscient often refers to God’s ability to know everything, even that which is hidden from humans. Furthermore, the external narrator above tries to give clues to readers that what happened to Tom every midnight is actually dreaming about finding new friend, Hatty, in a beautiful garden rather than meeting a ghost at mystical garden at midnight during his time staying at his uncle’s house. Through the omniscient POV above, the readers are positioned to understand and admit that the fantasy in TMG is described as Tom’s dreams by external narrator. The readers are positioned to receive that Tom’s dreams-like adventures take place in his uncle house before he returns home. However, the text also determines that it is not just dreaming, because Mrs. Bartholomez as old Hatty is part of the time-shift. Paragraph 2 is still continued by omniscient POV. There is no shift of focalising agent yet. Focalising agent means a human or human-like story world participant who concentrates or focuses selectively on a portion of the available sensory experience and performs acts of focalization in the course of the story (Margolin 2009). In this paragraph, the focalisation is still

 
 
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The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2012 Official Conference Proceedings

Osaka, Japan

from external narrator, a ‘someone’ who knows what Tom thinking about, knows what Tom must do dealing with his dreams as quotation below: “Tom thought again; Time no longer … To manage that, of course, he must understand...
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