The story In The National Gallery is written in a first-person perspective. However, the narrator remains anonymous – We do not get to know very much about him or her. The story is written with a technique called stream of consciousness. That basically means that we as readers are following the narrator's thoughts and how he or she experiences the situation at the National Gallery. The entire story takes place in the National Gallery, a very big and famous museum, in London. The narrator has come there to look at a painting for an hour, but something else gets his or her attention. The story lasts less than an hour, as the narrator starts out by saying that he or she only has an hour to spend in the National Gallery and it begins in medias res. There is no presentation of the characters or the situation. Another indicator that this story has taken place recently is that the old man, who is about 70 years old, talks about seeing the movie The Third Man, which is from 1949, as a child. The story is chronologically told. There are no flashbacks or jumps in time. The old man tells stories about when he was younger, however that is not a flashback as the man is described telling the story and the story itself is not described.
The narrator seems like a person who gets lost in his or her thoughts a lot. He or she does not want to spend their hour running around the museum, looking at one painting after another and not getting a quality experience, but prefers to look at one painting for the whole hour, wanting to get the full experience of that one painting. ”I had a free hour. Instead of spending it going from picture to picture until the time ran out, I would find one large enough to be seen well from the middle of the room, and I would sit quietly and look at it. Just one picture, by itself” (p. 2, ll. 1-3). The narrator wants the piece he or she is going to look at for an hour to be a well known one. This could either mean that he or she thinks that the most...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document