Narrator and point of view

The short story “The Happiest Days of Your Lives” by Penelope Lively is narrated by a limited third-person narrator. The narrator’s limited point of view is suggested by the fact that he or she knows only what some of the characters are thinking and feeling.

For most of the story, the narrator borrows the perspective of Mrs Manders or of her son, Charles. For example, the narrator has at least partial access to what Mrs Manders is thinking: “the woman, the mother, thought: ‘I like the way they’ve got the maid all done up properly’ ” . The narrator also has access to Charles’ perspective: “There is a noise in his ears like rushing water, a torrential din out of which voices boom, blotting each other out so that he cannot always hear the words” .

Note, howeve...

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