Narrator and point of view

The short story “The First Day” by Edward P. Jones is told by a first-person narrator, who is also the main character. The story is told mostly in the present tense.

At the time when the story takes place, the narrator is five years old. However, the clarity of her judgment leads us to conclude the perspective is actually that of her adult self, recounting the events which happened in her childhood. This is also reflected in the mix of present and past tense. Therefore, the narrative account mingles the child’s memories of the events with the adult perspective on them, influenced by experience and the passing of time. In this way, the narrator is able to make informed assumptions about her mother’s motivation and thoughts. 

One such example is when the narrator guesses at one of the reasons why her mother wants her to attend Seaton: “it is (...) ...

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