Narrator and point of view


The novella The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith is told from the point of view of a first-person narrator

The narrator is a representative of the residents of Willesden, as shown by the repetition of the phrase “we, the people of Willesden”. The narrator often uses the first-person plural pronouns “we” or “us” to show that they are acting as a spokesperson for the people of Willesden: “I have been chosen to speak for them”.

In this way, the narrator also acts as a Greek chorus of sorts who speaks directly to the audience – in this case, the reader – and comments on the events to help them understand the narrative. The chorus does not usually interact directly with the other characters and addresses only the audience. The chorus also cannot intervene or influence the events of the story in any way, which is also the case with the narrator in The Embassy of Cambodia.

The narrator acts as an observer of the story and often offers commentary on Fatou’s actions ...

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