Narrator and point of view

The first-person narrator

John Green's novel The Fault in Our Stars, has a first-person narrator. The events are told by the main character, 16-year-old Hazel, in retrospect, in the past tense. She is a homodiegetic narrator because she is involved in the events. The narrative uses a simple sentence structure and also uses literal speech, so the story seems more lively and easy to understand.

The narrator reports her everyday life, her thoughts, her environment from her perspective in the first person, such as: 

I’d taken a day off from visiting Augustus because I was feeling a bit unwell myself: nothing specific, just tired. It had been a lazy day, and when Augustus called just after five P.M., I was already attached to the BiPAP, which we’d dragged out to the living room so I could watch TV with Mom and Dad (Chapter 20, 1%). 

This allows readers to learn, for example, what the narrator worries about, how she feels about her parents and Augustus, how she sees the world, and how she deals with the knowledge that she will die young. 

The first-person narrator reports about the other characters in the third person mostly in a paratactic style. For example: 

Twelve-year-old leukemic Michael had passed away. He’d fought hard, Lida told me, as if there were another way to fight. Everyone else was still around. Ken was NEC after radiation. Lucas had relapsed, and she said it with a sad smile and a little shrug, the way you might say an alcoholic had relapsed (Chapter 9, 100%). 

The reader learns what the other characters say or feel through the narrator’s observations and comments. Here, the audience must rely on the narrator’s descriptions and perceptions. The first-person perspective reveals only the inside view of the narrator’s mind and thus provides only a limited and restricted view of the other characters.

The first...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in