Narrator and point of view

The short story “The Old Chief Mshlanga” by Doris Lessing mixes third-person and first-person narration and conveys the events from the perspective of the character-narrator, the white girl.

The story begins with a third-person account of the narrator’s past and her views on Africa and natives. By using this technique, the narrator distances herself from the prejudice and racism which marked her early life: “They were good, the years of ranging the bush over her father's farm which, like every white farm, was largely unused, broken only occasionally by small patches of cultivation.”

The narrative switches to first-person when the narrator is fourteen, the time when her attitude began to change as a consequence of meeting a local chieftain, Ms...

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