Narrator and point of view

The narrator of the short story “Diary of an Interesting Year” by Helen Simpson is also the main character. As with every first-person narrator, we recommend you focus on the narrator’s reliability. First-person narrators tend to be subjective and the way they tell their stories tends to influence readers in the direction the narrator desires. In our case, the narrator makes readers empathise with her and less with G., who is generally portrayed in an unflattering way:

March 6th. Another quarrel with G. O.K., yes, he was right, but why crow about it? That’s what you get when you marry your tutor from Uni—wall-to-wall pontificating from an older man. ‘I saw it coming, any fool could see it coming, especially after the Big Melt,’ he brags. 

However, despite the narrator’s tone of irritation, it remains clear that she and G. work as a team and that she is deeply attached to him.

As the narrator writes in her diary about the things she experiences that particular day, she has limited knowledge of what is about to happen. For instance, when she and her husband receive the group of Spanish pe...

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