Narrator and point of view

The short story “Gravel” by Alice Munro is narrated in the past tense by an unnamed first-person narrator. The dialogue, however, is in the present tense, and the narrator also inputs some present-tense sentences when she refers to her adult self, for example: “I am suspicious of people who talk like this, but I can’t say that I have a right to be”.

The narrator is unreliable. This is because when she experiences the events, the narrator is a child with a limited understanding of her circumstances: “I had not understood or even particularly noticed these changes at the time”. Furthermore, her credibility is compromised because of her fragmented memories which cannot offer a full picture of the events: “I do know, though I don’t remember it, that my father wept (...)”; “Beyond...

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